July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
This awareness day was named after mental health activist and author Bebe Moore Campbell - and focuses on building awareness about the importance of mental wellness and effective mental health care for minorities.
According to research, minorities are less likely to receive a mental health diagnosis, less likely to receive treatment for mental illness, have less access to and availability of mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care. More specifically:
- The percentage of Black and Latino children who use mental health care services is less than half that of Caucasian children (4–5% & 10%, respectively)
- 88% of Latino children with mental health issues have unmet needs
- More than 25% of African American youth exposed to violence have been shown to be at high risk for post-traumatic stress disorder
- Adolescent Native Americans experience the highest rates of suicide of any population in the United States—at least three to five times the national average
- In the Asian American youth population, suicide ideation and suicide rates continue to increase
To learn more about the needs of mental health services for diverse populations, or for where can find local activities celebrating this month, please go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness