Differences in Minority Mental Health

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Racial/ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities often suffer from poor mental health outcomes due to multiple factors including: inaccessibility of high-quality mental health care, cultural stigma surrounding mental health care, discrimination, and lack of awareness on mental health. (American Psychiatric Association, 2022)

Additional barriers for minorities include:

-Different cultural perceptions about mental illness and well-being

-Racism and discrimination

-Being more vulnerable to being uninsured

-Cultural differences in help-seeking behaviors

-Language or communication barriers 

-Fear and mistrust of treatment

Often times, service providers may apply the same cultural lens to minorities as they do to non-minorities which can limit mutual understanding, result in inaccurate diagnoses, and hurt rapport building and trust. 

The following graphics showcase some of these disparities (Simmons University)

How do we address this issue?

-Greater emphasis on culturally competent services

-Increase awareness of and combat sigma surrounding mental illness in minority 


-Increase research efforts that examine relationships between minorities and mental health services

-Create and support more programs that focus on improving culturally competent services

References & Resources

American Psychiatric Association, https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/cultural-competency/education/mental-health-facts

Simmons University, https://online.simmons.edu/blog/racial-disparities-in-mental-health-treatment/

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