July is coming to an end but it has been an important month for mental health. Each July, Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is working towards equality of access and care in mental health for minority populations. Currently, minorities do not have similar quality nor access to mental health facilities for a variety of reasons. Not only does the general public need to be more aware of this issue, but also the entire mental health field. It’s up to everyone to make mental health equality a priority. At Palms Behavioral Health, we are a mental health facility who fully supports this month’s commendable goals. The first step towards achieving any goal is raising awareness, and we believe in doing our part to help.
Minority Mental Health Disparity
It’s an unfortunate fact that many people who experience mental health problems such as depression rarely seek the help we need at mental or behavioral health facilities. It’s even more unfortunate that minority groups seek out help even less. One contributing factor is that mental health facilities, psychologists, and psychiatric care centers are rarely located in minority communities, which makes finding a quality establishment a difficult task. This problems is compounded by the fact that research indicates higher frequencies of depression and suicide among minorities. The Center for Disease Control has multiple reports supporting this unfortunate fact. Consequently, the communities that need more help (minorities) are less likely to receive that help.
The Stigma of Mental Health
As mentioned earlier, all groups of people are somewhat averse to seeking help, especially minorities. This is due to a stigma that exists in mental health, which is more pronounced among minority groups. First, minorities rarely participate in advertisements or media campaigns for mental health, which implies that minorities don’t have mental health issues or don’t need help. The media’s treatment of the issue normalizes mental health problems among minorities because they never see themselves as victims. This stigma is a considerable roadblock towards mental health equity.
The Road Towards a Solution
Becoming aware is merely the beginning. Truly achieving mental health equity requires not only awareness, but action. It’s the responsibility of mental health centers, psychologists, psychiatric hospitals, behavioral health centers and other facilities to change the way mental health deals with minorities. More facilities need to exist in minority neighborhoods, for example. Additionally, it’s the responsibility of those creating our information and advertisements to better depict the actual state of mental health in the United States. It’s also every individual’s responsibility to speak out against inequality and seek proper help for everyone. Here at Peak Behavioral Health, we are happy to assist everyone, including minorities, and we are committed to give equal care to all patients. If you or anyone you know is experiencing mental health difficulties, don’t hesitate to contact us at Palms Behavioral Health, where our multidisciplinary staff is trained and more than capable to help everyone, including minorities right here in the Harlingen, TX area. We want our community to be healthy, and that means making every person in our community healthy. Please give us a call at (956) 365-2600 to set up a free confidential assessment.