Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was founded in 2008 to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face regarding mental illness in the United States.
Mental health conditions do not discriminate.
Anyone can experience challenges with their mental health, regardless of their race, color, gender or identity.
However, those within minority communities often suffer from adverse outcomes due to unmet mental health needs. This is not due to a higher incidence of mental illness within these communities, but instead, it reflects how individuals in minority communities are less likely to receive a diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness. Additionally, these individuals have reduced access to mental health services, and can experience poorer quality of care.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, stigma towards people with mental health issues is the “most formidable obstacle to future progress in the arena of mental illness and health.” While stigma affects all people living with mental illness, studies show that culturally influenced stigma has a greater impact on individuals in minority communities, thus aiding in the disparities these individuals experience.
My posts this month are aimed at showing how these culturally influenced stigmas impact each minority community within the United States, and to bring awareness to the unique challenges these communities face.