Raising Awareness of Stigma for Minority Mental Health Treatment
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This aims to bring awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minorities communities face in regards to mental health in the United States. Some of these struggles include: less access to higher-level mental health care, discrimination/racism, more vulnerability to being uninsured, less access to culturally competent service providers, language/communication barriers, fear or mistrust of treatment, socioeconomic status, and reduced access to mental health services (Mays, V., et al, 2017)
Why is it important to break the stigma of mental health for minority communities in mental health? Stigmatization can cause a major impact on mental health. This harmful experience can cause stress, trauma, grief, and other negative emotions that may express themselves in negative mental health outcomes.
How to contribute to raising awareness and combating stigmatization:
-Bring awareness to the use of stigmatizing language around mental illness
-Educate friends, family, and colleagues about the unique challenges of mental illness
within minority groups
-Become aware of your own attitudes and beliefs towards minority communities to reduce negative assumptions
-Know the facts and educate yourself
-Consider donating or volunteering at local organizations geared towards the breakdown of stigmatization of mental health
Mays, V. (2017) Perceived discrimination in healthcare and mental health/substance abuse treatment among Blacks, Latinos, and Whites. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5233585/
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