July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
You Are Not Alone
Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult.
Realities for Minorities
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition.
Taking on the challenges of mental health conditions, health coverage, and the stigma of mental illness, requires all of us. In many communities, these problems are increased by less access to care, cultural stigma and lower quality care.
“Compared with the majority population, members of racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use inpatient hospitalization and emergency rooms, and more likely to receive lower quality care.” National Institute of Mental Health Minority Health and Health Disparities Program
We urge you to learn more about how mental health is perceived and addressed among minority groups.
Mental Health Data
1 in 5 People Experience a Mental Health Condition
41.5% of youth ages 12-17 received care for a major depressive episode, but only 35.1% of black youth and 32.7% of Hispanic youth received treatment for their condition.
Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic group.
13.3% of youth ages 12-17 had at least one depressive episode, but that number was higher among American Indian and Alaska Native youth at 16.3% and among Hispanic youth at 13.8%.
18.9% of adults (46.6 million people) had a mental illness. That rate was higher among people of two or more races at 28.6%, non-Hispanic whites at 20.4% and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders at 19.4%.
Tackling Mental Health Stigma
NAMI Ambassador Chris Hubbard, offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns. Hubbard takes us on a journey back to his hometown of Columbus, Georgia, where he shares the unique challenges of playing competitive sports, encourages young athletes to take care of their mental health and relays the importance of asking for help.
Watch more of NAMI’s videos here!
Despite advances in health equity, disparities in mental health care persist.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care. Poor mental health care access and quality contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including suicide, among racial and ethnic minority populations.