Minorities and Mental Health

Jul 10th, 2020

Lack of access and stigma are two of the biggest barriers to providing behavioral health support. While many struggle with these challenges in seeking treatment, Black, Latino, Asian and other minority communities face them at much higher rates – and often at greater cost.

 More than 16% of Black Americans reported having a mental illness in the past year. This population makes up more than seven million people. Black and African Americans also reported increases in rates of major depressive episodes and suicidal thoughts.

 Approximately 33% of Hispanic or Latino adults with mental illness receive treatment each year – 10% lower than the U.S. average. Language barriers, legal status and lack of cultural competence are just some of the unique barriers facing these communities. Alarmingly, 8.3% of Black and 9.2% of Hispanic young adults ages 18 to 25 reported having serious thoughts of suicide in 2017.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Asian American youth, ages 12 to 19. Data collected by the CDC showed Asian American females in high school were 20% more likely to attempt suicide than non-Hispanic white students. Additionally, Asian American adults were almost 30% less likely to seek treatment for a major depressive episode than non-Hispanic white adults.

 Unfortunately, limited access to behavioral health treatment and concerns about stigma prevent many minorities from seeking help. Additional language and cultural barriers add challenges to receiving treatment. It is important for friends, family, caregivers and health care providers develop awareness of health equity among diverse groups so we as a society can help break down barriers to care.

 Here are just a few resources to help facilitate a conversation about behavioral health treatment:

If you or someone you care about is in need of behavioral health treatment, please contact Oceans Behavioral Hospital today.

 

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