Tuesday, July 02, 2019

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month - a campaign that shines a light on the unique struggles of underrepresented cultures with regard to mental illness. 
Good Therapy has excellent suggestions for therapists on deepening cultural diversity in treatment practices. 

  • Spend time educating yourself on multicultural and diversity issues nationally and locally. Read books about racism by authors such as Derald Sue, Michelle Alexander, and Tim Wise. Look for seminars on diversity and cultural competence and attend whenever possible.
  • Check your own unconscious biases. Harvard has a wonderful resource at Project Implicit that can help you identify your biases so you can begin to work on eliminating or mitigating them.
  • Make a conscious effort to reflect your community. Is your practice or agency diverse or are the majority of practitioners homogenous? Minorities are less likely to seek care in an environment where they don’t feel represented or where they believe clinicians cannot understand their unique needs. Do the work to make your environment more diverse—and not simply for diversity’s sake. Rather than bringing minorities onto your staff because it is encouraged, do so to genuinely empower and to make therapy more accessible to more people.
  • Actively engage with your community and with diverse communities. Make an effort to reach out beyond your comfort zone to engage with populations who may not normally come through your door.
  • If you use social media, make it a point to share facts about mental health awareness in a non-stigmatizing manner. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, offers some prewritten posts on its website that you can use.
  • Get involved with advocacy efforts in local and national politics. It doesn’t take much time to call your representatives and have your voice heard.

For more on Minority Mental Health Awareness Month link here. 

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