Minority Mental Health Awareness Month July
Unfortunately, the field of mental health is a domain in which minorities are often under served. The month of July is dedicated to helping minorities feel not only more comfortable seeking help if they have a mental health problem, but also enlightening the mental health field so that they can better accommodate minorities who are just as prone to mental illness as any population. Here at Montevista Behavioral Health Hospital, we are a mental health facility dedicated to all populations and believe that a minority health awareness month is both necessary and important.
For a number of reasons, minorities are less likely to seek help at mental health facilities, and the opportunity and quality of help for those individuals is inferior. In the United States, according to the National Alliance for Mental Health, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience mental health problems, including major depression and suicide. Among Native Americans, suicide and depression are extremely prevalent. Additionally, areas in which many minorities live are without proper mental health facilities to deal with individuals experiencing problems. Due to the fact that minorities are just as likely or even more likely to encounter mental health issues and that the facilities that can effectively treat these problems are not in minority neighborhoods, it is an unfortunate fact that a large disparity exists for treating minorities with mental health problems.
Have you seen an ad for mental health? It usually involves somebody experiencing what looks like depression. And that actor playing that part? For a long time, that role has not been portrayed by a minority. Media has a large impact on our culture and when we only see non-minorities having mental health problems and seeking help, we assume that they are the only group experiencing it. However, human beings of all races and backgrounds experience mental health issues, especially those in poverty which has beens disproportionate amount of minorities. The repercussions of the media’s treatment of mental health is devastating. Minorities can often feel as though they aren’t susceptible to mental health problems or worse yet, that they are not welcome at locations where they can receive counseling. While a general stigma exists for all those who have mental disorders, it is particularly present within minority groups.
Working Towards a Solution
It’s obvious that more mental health and behavioral health facilities need to be available for all groups of people. Media campaigns need to focus on representing patients of all ethnicities and financial standings. Poverty, a key component in adding stress to many lives, including minorities, needs to be acknowledged by mental health centers, psychologists, and government institutions. Additionally, those administering treatment for mental health disorders need to be trained to accommodate and welcome people from all ethnic backgrounds. It’s also up to you. Underserved and underrepresented communities need advocates. Speak up for minorities. Speak up for equality. If anyone you know, including someone of a minority group, is experiencing mental health difficulties, help them seek out proper treatment. At Montevista Behavioral Health Hospital, our staff is trained and ready to deal with these situations. We understand the importance of every patient’s cultural background and believe that each patient deserves equal and individualized counseling for recovery. Please give us a call at (702) 251-1371.