Jul 1, 2023

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Racial and ethnic minorities often experience poor mental health outcomes due to a number of factors, including inaccessibility to high-quality behavioral health services, cultural stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment, discrimination, and overall lack of awareness about mental health. 

Formally recognized in June 2008, Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face regarding mental illness in the United States. Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities.

Source: www.mhanational.org

Ways clinicians can increase their cultural competence:

  • Examine how your own beliefs, experiences, and biases affect your definitions of normal and abnormal behavior.
  • Invest in ongoing learning about multiple cultural groups.
  • Provide clients/patients with opportunities to talk about and process their perceptions, past experiences, and current needs.
  • Become aware of obstacles encountered by specific populations that make it difficult to access treatment.
  • Examine patterns of co-occurring disorders and conditions specific to people from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds.
  • Provide culturally appropriate screening/assessment and be aware of common diagnostic biases associated with symptom presentation.

Source: samsha.gov

For more information, contact Monica Ross at monica.ross@bcbsri.org.