Mental health issues don’t discriminate in who they affect. Anyone can be diagnosed with a mental health issue regardless of their circumstances, who they are, how they identify, and their background. But, even though mental health issues can affect anyone, not everyone with mental health issues has the same access to treatment for mental health and a supportive community to encourage healing and recovery. Specifically, minority populations are less disposed to mental health resources that can help to provide care access and treatment opportunities. This issue can keep minority populations from getting the help they need and living lives of mental well-being.
Taking the first steps to get mental health care is difficult for anyone. But, it can be especially difficult for people who are minorities. People who have different backgrounds and cultures than the majority of the population have a harder time being accepted and therefore, finding the help they need. With a disparity in equal opportunity to get mental health treatment, minorities are at a higher risk for developing worsening mental health symptoms and even developing medical illnesses as a result. Therefore, it’s important that our society works to bridge the gap between the average person and minorities when it comes to mental health treatment access.
Since 2008, July has been distinguished as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This movement is an effort to bring awareness to how minorities don’t have optimal access to mental health care. In spreading awareness, the movement aspires to bring resources, education, and hope to minority populations struggling with mental health issues. This way, equal opportunities for mental health care are available to all regardless of a person’s race, religion, identity, background, etc.
There are a number of reasons why a person of minority may not have equal access to mental health care. Some of these reasons include:
Racism: Racism negatively impacts a minority person’s access to mental health care in a number of ways. Specifically, this is true for black populations that face higher incarceration rates, higher interest rates for loans, racial profiling, and more. People who experience racism may not trust mental health treatment facilities for fear of racist motives. Or, may not have access to mental health care due to being incarcerated rather than being admitted into a mental health facility. Thus, making mental health symptoms worsen over time or leading to the development of concurring mental health issues as a result.
Incorrect Diagnoses: Unfortunately, over the years, mental health practitioners may develop racial bias when it comes to mental health diagnoses. For example, people of certain backgrounds may be more or less likely to be diagnosed with specific mental health conditions. These mental health biases have a long-lasting impact on minority populations which can lead to a mistrust of the mental health treatment community for these people – leading to minority populations less likely to get help.
Stigmas: Minorities can have different views on mental health issues than the general population such as stigmas. These can include stigmas on whether or not mental health issues are religious issues rather than medical issues and other believed stigmas. Thus, keeping people of minority populations from getting mental health treatment.
If you’re a minority struggling with the symptoms of mental health issues, it’s important to get help sooner than later. This way, treatment is effective in helping to address issues that could potentially lead to further issues down the road. Yellowbrick is an outpatient mental health facility located near Chicago. We help people from all walks of life with all types of mental health issues. Find out more about how we can help today by visiting our website.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.