July is National Minority Mental Health Month
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. National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 2008 to start changing this.
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.
Watch the NAMI docuseries, Strength Over Silence: Stories of Courage, Culture and Community. NAMI explores unique perspectives on mental health from the African-American and Latino communities. Many other resources are also available.
During National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in July, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) will launch a free and accredited e-learning program: Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals. Other info and shareable graphics are available as well.
While the term ‘minority’ is traditionally associated with racial, ethnic, or cultural minorities within the US, Mental Health America (MHA) is focused on expanding this term to include individuals from a wide-range of marginalized and under-served communities, including those who may identify as part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, refugee and immigrant groups, religious groups, and others who are often overlooked. Learn more and download the 2019 Minority Mental Health Month Toolkit.
To acknowledge Minority Mental Health Month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has compiled a list of helpful resources for parents and caregivers, children and teens, mental health providers, child welfare and juvenile justice professionals, healthcare providers, educators and school staff, and policy makers.
Behavioral Health Equity is the right to access quality health care for all populations regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, geographical location and social conditions through prevention and treatment of mental health and substance use conditions and disorders.