As July nears its end, it’s important to remember that it’s the Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, whose goal is to work towards equal access and quality of mental health help for minority populations. Unfortunately, minorities currently don’t experience the same quality nor access to these facilities. This awareness month is also a call to arms for the entire mental health field which can hopefully work towards better helping minority communities who are often more in need than other communities. At Peak Behavioral Health, we are a mental health facility who proudly supports what this month means. We believe that raising awareness is an important step in achieving equality in mental health among all groups of people.
The Disparity in Mental Health
Many of us who experience mental health problems do not seek out the help we need. What’s even more alarming is that minority seek out help even less. One major reason is that minority communities very frequently do not have the same access to quality mental health facilities. Simply put, the locations of mental health facilities are not well distributed among all groups with minorities having little to no facilities. Research shows that depression and suicide are much more present among minorities, which compounds the problem. The CDC has multiple reports indicating that many minorities, have increased rates of depression and suicide, notably among young minorities. They need more help, yet have less access to the help they need, all of which creates a disparity in mental health.
The Stigma of Mental Health
A stigma exists for all of mental health problems, but is particularly present for minority communities. For example, the media’s portrayal of mental health in commercials and advertisements rarely uses minorities as actors, suggesting that minorities don’t have mental health issues or don’t need to seek help at a mental health facility. This can result in minorities feeling convinced that having issues such as severe depression is normal. It is not normal. Mental health affects all human beings and deserves to be treated equally. Depression does not care about the color of your skin, contrary to much of the implicit information we see and hear. This stigma of mental health disorders is a serious problem and needs to be dealt with. This month aims at exploring that issue and seeking the help and understanding that minorities deserve.
On Track for a Better Future
Becoming aware of the disparity and stigma of minority mental health is one step towards finding a solution. However, it is merely the beginning. Everyone needs to do their part. Mental health centers, psychologists, psychiatric hospitals, behavioral health centers and other facilities need to make a better effort to serve the minority communities that are more need. We, the general public, need to demand a more accurate depiction of mental health disorders in our media. Additionally, those responsible for the commercials and advertisements behind mental health need to produce images and materials that mirror the society in which we all live. On a personal level, we all need to speak out against such inequality. Every individual can become an advocate for change. It’s not just a problem for minority groups, it’s a problem for everyone. At Peak Behavioral Health, we are happy to accommodate all groups of people, including minorities, and we will do our part to bring equality to the mental health field. If you or anyone you know is experiencing mental health difficulties, seek out proper treatment. At the Peak Behavioral Health, our multidisciplinary staff is trained and more than capable to help everyone, including minorities right here in Santa Teresa, NM. We are involved in and care for all members of our community and proudly offer our services to everyone. Please give us a call at (888) 599-9808.