July: National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Hand InOver 40 million Americans struggle with mental illness in any given year.1 In racial and ethnic minority communities, mental health issues have often gone unaddressed. To raise awareness of this issue, July was declared as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), minority populations have less access to mental health services and when they do seek help they are unfortunately more likely to receive lower quality care.2

Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit focusing on promoting mental health in America. MHA recently looked into statistics regarding minority populations provided by their MHA free screenings, and the results3 are as follows:

• Asian Americans are least likely to be diagnosed even though 57% who were screened showed to be moderately to severely depressed
• African Americans were most likely to say that they would speak to a mental health professional or doctor after their screening
• The Hispanic/Latino community had the most screenings and they were the most likely to request additional information on where to get mental health help
• Native Americans and Multi-Racial people were most likely to have symptoms of severe depression, with the highest rates of diagnosis pre-screening

To learn more about minority mental health care, please visit some of the links referenced in this article.

For even more resources, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health or contact a mental health professional near you.

1. https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers
2. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/organization/gmh/minority-health-and-mental-health-disparities-program.shtml
3. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/infographic-minority-mental-health

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