Mental Health Equity Resources

portraits of individuals


     Mental illness does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, or identity, with approximately 53 million Americans reporting any mental illness in a year (NSDUH, 2020). Despite the prevalence, less than half of individuals report receiving mental health services. Minority groups often experience disparities in mental health equity and often face unique challenges and barriers in accessing mental health care. The disparities are often attributed to systemic racism, ableism, and mental health stigma. There are multiple strategies that can be implemented to achieve mental health equity such as increasing crisis and community-based services, developing mental health awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, and increasing culturally appropriate services. 


Toolkits and Guides: 

Crisis Care Guide: Mental Health Equity in Underserved Populations - As the future of crisis care in the United States is on the cusp of being transformed, it is important to keep under-served and marginalized populations in mind when championing the changes and improvements to those services. This brief guide serves to highlight the unique struggles and barriers that many different marginalized communities experience when trying to access crisis services, and provides a glimpse into the future of crisis care.


Interactive Data Maps: 


On-demand Recordings: 
  • Addressing Immigrant Culture, Language, Diversity and Inclusion - In this recorded presentation, Pierluigi Mancini, PhD, addresses the immigrant culture and language and presents strategies to provide access and eliminate health disparities in mental health services.
  • From Cultural Competence to Structural Competence - In this webinar recording, Dr. Shim reframes the issue via a journey from cultural competence to structural competence (through cultural humility), addresses new trends in research in the field, and offers innovative solutions.
  • Mental Health & Equity in the Southeast - In this webinar recording, Dr. Holden reviews the needs of and equity barriers experienced by underserved and underrepresented populations in the Southeast. She discusses potential strategies to promote wellness, access to healing and resilience among ethnically and culturally diverse individuals.


  • Cultural & Structural Competency: Mental Health Equity - This infographic explains the differences between mental health disparities and mental health inequities, and explores how things like structural racism and inequality contribute to mental health inequities.
  • Race-Based Mental Health Equity in the Southeast - This infographic summarizes recommendations for eliminating mental health disparities from the American Psychological Association (APA), describes promising practices in the Southeast (HHS Region IV), and lists additional resources.


School Mental Health
  • Southeast MHTTC School Mental Health Initiative A collaborative effort with the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity to support school mental health providers as they increase their skills as affirming providers to better support LGBTQ+ students.


MHTTC Network


  • Office of Behavioral Health Equity - Develops and promotes behavioral health equity policy initiatives that strengthen the impact of SAMHSA programs for all, especially, for under-resourced populations.
  • African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence - Through collaboration, training, and technical assistance, the Center is working to transform behavioral health services for African Americans, making them: Safer, More effective, More accessible, More inclusive More welcoming, More engaging, and More culturally appropriate and responsive.