Minority Mental Health Month

July was first designated as Minority Mental Health Month in 2008 to bring awareness to the mental health disparities of minority populations, who are at greater risk of developing mental illness due in part to their increased risk factors. These risk factors include exposure to violence, homelessness, stigma, and other stress factors. Among racial minorities, the mental health statistics are sobering:

  • African American populations are 20% more likely to experience mental illness than the general American population[1].

  • Asian American adults are less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic groups[2].

  • In 2016, the American Indian/Alaska Native rate of suicide was 13.98 suicides per 100,000 population members— roughly twice as high as the rates for African Americans (6.35) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (7.0)[3].

Sexual minorities also struggle with mental illness at higher rates than the general population because of the higher risk for discrimination, ostracizing by family members and peers, and homelessness.

  • The risk of depression and other mental health conditions is almost three times as high for LGBTQ adults and youth[4].

  • Compared to the general population, LGBTQ teens are 6 times more likely to experience depression symptoms[4].

To address the mental health disparities among minority populations, it’s critical to educate all people on the symptoms of conditions such as Major Depressive Disorder and to learn to recognize these symptoms both in yourself and in your community. These symptoms include:

  • Loss of energy and/or increased fatigue

  • Restlessness or irritation

  • Expressing feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions

  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or self-injurious behavior

Another critical aspect of tackling mental health disparity is education on the available treatments. Besides antidepressant medication and talk therapy, there is also Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy, which is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive and effective means of treating depression.

If you or a loved one have been struggling with depression symptoms, schedule a Free Consultation today to find out more about TMS Therapy. 

For more resources, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health or contact a mental health professional near you.

Join your community members in supporting events devoted to Minority Mental Health Month, including:

Sources:

  1. https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Diverse-Communities/African-Americans
  2. https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/content.aspx?ID=9447&lvl=2&lvlid=12
  3. 3.https://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate.html
  4. https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/LGBTQ