July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Currently, minorities experience more mental health problems all while having less access to mental health facilities. While it’s convenient to group all minorities together and make broad statements about the disparity in mental health between minorities and non-minorities, it is important to understand that minority communities include many different populations, and understanding the differences is key to helping each group. We at Clear View Behavioral Health are dedicated to understanding so that we can better help the all the minority groups in our community.
Understanding Mental Health Fundamentals for Each Minority Group
There are some sobering statistics for each minority group, but that does not mean that they all experience the same problems. Understanding each group’s specific situation is vital to treating their mental illness.
Blacks and African Americans
Blacks and African Americans are over-represented in the percentage of Americans with depression and suicidal thoughts. This isn’t just some unfortunate reality; there are some reasons behind it. Some common thoughts and misconceptions about depression and suicide as it relates to Black and African Americans suggest that it is weak to seek help from other people for mental health disorders, and people who admit to having mental illness can be seen as crazy.
Due in part to historical adversity and systemic racism, poverty plays a large role in mental illness and stress, and also having enough funds to pay for mental health facilities. The Office of Minority Health indicates that Blacks and African Americans below the poverty line are three times more likely to report having a mental illness as those above the poverty line. Because Blacks and African Americans disproportionately experience poverty, this means that this group experiences much more psychological distress.
The story of Latino Americans is not necessarily an aversion to receiving help, but more of a general difficulty in receiving help. This is due to socio economic factors and language barriers. As mentioned earlier, poverty engenders more psychological distress. Additionally, bilingual and Spanish speaking patients are frequently dealt with differently by clinicians and mental health centers, and they are often mistreated or undertreated as compared to White patients.
As with Latino Americans, Asian Americans, which includes many different ethnic groups, also experience difficulty in finding and receiving help due to language barriers. Culturally speaking, Asian Americans are also less likely to seek help from professionals as opposed to using their personal network because discussing and admitting mental health issues is sometimes considered taboo. Unfortunately, these factors and other result in young Asian American females being much more likely to consider and attempt suicide.
Native American methods of dealing with psychological distress do not always equate to seeking professional help from a psychiatrist, psychologist or a mental health facility. They often prefer alternative treatment or are unaware of other forms of treatment. Coupled with high rates of poverty, Native Americans have many obstacles to lowering rates of suicide among their youth and treating depression. That being said, there is still much to learn from the Native Americans and their cultural and personal views in order to better treat these individuals.
Trained psychologists and psychiatrists at mental health facilities are paramount to treating all mental health issues, including depression. While many minority groups show tendencies to be more independent in their treatment, seeking out professional help can be much more effective. At Clear View Behavioral Health, we have a variety of options for fast and personalized treatment. We have specific programs for ADOLESCENTS, ADULTS, and SENIORS, as well as an ACUTE PSYCHIATRIC INPATIENT PROGRAM and DETOX PROGRAM. Our multidisciplinary staff is trained to deal with all the specific mental health problems that arise with each minority group.
Call Us for a Free Confidential Assessment
If you have questions or need professional help with mental health, please call us at (970) 461 5061 to set up a free confidential assessment.