Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
By Ellen James, LSW
Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, act, and handle stressors. In other words, mental health matters and is just as important as our physical health. With that being said, mental health issues are very common. More than 1 in 5 adults in the US live with mental illness (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023). Mental health issues are treatable, but not everyone has access to the resources that are needed, specifically people in some racial and ethnic minority groups.
Why is it Important?
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month occurs every July to bring awareness to the struggles that racial and ethnic minority groups face regarding mental health in the United States. Racial and ethnic minorities often suffer from poor mental health outcomes due to many different factors. For example, lack of access to mental health care services, not having adequate health insurance coverage, discrimination, mental health stigma that could be cultural, or overall lack of awareness. In addition to this, our environment can heavily impact our mental health; for example, experiencing or witnessing racial discrimination or violence, or living in poverty. “In 2021, it was estimated that only 39 percent of Black or African American adults, 25 percent of Asian adults, and 36 percent of Hispanic/Latino adults with any mental illness were treated, compared to 52 percent of non-Hispanic white adults” (OMH, 2023).
What can Owens & Associates Counseling and Therapy center do to help?
In terms of access, Owens & Associates Counseling and Therapy center has five convenient locations, and offers mental health services in person, on video, or via telehealth. Owens & Associates Counseling and Therapy Center also accepts most major insurances, and individuals have the opportunity to be approved for sliding scale, which means that one’s fees can be adjusted depending on their income. This helps address income inequality. Owens & Associates Counseling and therapy Center also has therapists that are bilingual, and has a staff that is diverse. Something that we can implement in the future are programs and trainings to help their staff improve their cultural competency and to address trauma and mental health issues among racial/ethnic populations.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, April 25). About Mental Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm
OMH. (2023). National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 2023. HHS.gov. https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/minority-mental-health/