Mental health does not discriminate, affecting people of all colors and creeds. Unfortunately, many mental illnesses go untreated, and if people suffering from mental illnesses do not receive the right treatment, their symptoms can worsen. This led the US House of Representatives to name July “National Minority Mental Health Month” to help improve access to mental health services and make sure that people in minority groups receive the care they may need.

Mental Health in Minority Groups

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that almost one in five adults in the US experience some kind of mental illness. Although we’ve previously established that anyone can experience a mental illness, minority groups experience more risk factors. Some of these factors are a lack of access to mental health services, cultural mental health stigmas, discrimination, or lack of awareness.

The American Psychiatric Association says that certain minority groups have higher rates of mental health issues than other groups. The Alaskan Native and Native American groups have significantly higher rates of mental health issues, as well as the African American community. Another issue they face is their poor access to mental health services, medications, and other forms of care.

The consequences of the lack of care that minority groups experience with their mental health are alarming. The National Library of Medicine states that close to 23% of Asian Americans and 21% of African Americans and Latino Americans receive help for their mental health issues. This means that a majority of mental health issues are going undiagnosed or untreated, leading to more people suffering in silence.

july is national minority mental health month

How You Can Celebrate National Minority Mental Health Month

Many large organizations promote some form of awareness during the month. There are also a lot of websites and blogs (like this one) that put or more content for awareness and ways that minority groups can get the right kind of treatment. Other campaigns will highlight how important it is to establish relationships with those around you to help you through any times you may be feeling down. Being there for others can help save lives.

One of the biggest organizations that is promoting minority mental health is Mental Health America. They are asking for people to share videos, pictures, art, writing, and poetry to help others understand life experiences, stereotypes, biases, and preconceived notions that affect minority mental health. You can learn about others and their lives while helping promote improved access to mental health services for minority groups.