July is Minority Mental Health Month. According to the American Psychiatric Association, people from racial and ethnic minority groups are less likely to receive mental health care than the rest of the U.S. population and that communities of color often lack adequate access to medical treatment for mental illnesses. They also face challenges like higher levels of stigma, misinformation and language barriers.
A recent HuffPost article asked several psychologists and mental health care providers who primarily treat patients of color how to have an effective and serious conversation about mental health.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
- Over 70 percent of Black/African American adolescents with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment for their condition.
- Almost 25 percent of adolescents with a major depressive episode in the last year were Hispanic/Latino.
- Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic groups.
Experts agree that open conversations and communication surrounding mental health can play a vital role in eliminating shame and stigma.