National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, July, offers an opportunity to create mental health awareness in diverse communities. The US House of Representatives proclaimed July as this special month in 2008, aiming to improve access to mental health treatment and services through increased public awareness. Many resources to help you raise awareness and reach out in your community are available from NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Fact sheets on disparities among specific population groups
African Americans American Indians/Alaska Natives
Asian Americans Latinos/Hispanics
Brochures for specific population groups
African Asian Americans/ American Indians/ Hispanics/ Gays/Lesbians/
Americans Pacific Islanders Alaska Natives Latinos Bisexuals
Cultural identity encompasses distinct patterns of belief and practices that have implications for one’s willingness to seek treatment from and to be adequately served by mental health care providers. More research must be done to better understand mental health disparities and to develop culturally competent interventions for African Americans. With proper diagnosis and treatment, African Americans – like other populations – can increasingly better manage their mental health and lead healthy, productive lives.