What is National Minority Mental Health Month?
National Minority Mental Health Month is a campaign concentrated on the mental health concerns of minority populations. Since 2008, when the U.S. House of Representatives made the announcement, July has been designated as National Minority Mental Health Month.
HPA/LiveWell, in Albany, New York, plays a part in National Minority Mental Health Month by supporting the to the goal of the campaign to raise public awareness of mental illness amongst minorities. National Minority Mental Health Month also aims to provide education about the mental health concerns and needs unique to minority groups, and to improve access to services for these individuals.
Why It Is Important
Many believe the issue of mental health is only a concern for those who actually struggle with mental health issues. Yet, mental illness is one of the primary public health issues today, and therefore should be treated as a societal concern.
Even more important, when looking at mental illness by race statistics, minorities are up to 20% more likely to experience serious mental health issues. Minorities are also less likely to seek treatment for a mental health concern, and have less access to mental health services. If these individuals do seek treatment, they are less likely to receive quality care. This is because there are so many misconceptions and gaps in information, especially as they pertain to minority groups.
National Minority Mental Health Month is vital to the wellbeing of society as a whole. Fortunately, National Minority Mental Health Month promotes the distribution of accurate information by providing:
- Help on how to talk about minority mental health issues and associated stigma
- Information on warning signs and symptoms of mental disorders (i.e.-anxiety, depression, etc.)
- Education on minorities and mental health statistics
- An outline of various treatment options and different types of services
- Assistance in accessing services
How to Get Involved
Whether you are a minority struggling with mental illness, a mental health professional, or just someone who wants to get involved, there are many ways to contribute to the efforts of National Minority Mental Health Month.
- Educate yourself on minority mental health issues and struggles.
- Donate to organizations that fund research about minority mental health.
- Talk about minority mental health in your workplace, school, or organization (this creates awareness).
- Use social media to spread useful information about minority mental health.
- Compose and submit articles to local media or mental health websites about minority mental health concerns.
- Distribute flyers, pamphlets, or other materials with information about minority groups living with mental illness.
- Visit local organizations that assist minority groups with mental health concerns.
- Find (and attend) local social events dedicated to raising awareness about minority mental health.
HPA/LiveWell offers multicultural counseling, in an effort to meet the needs of all individuals.