Minority Mental Health Month

July is
Minority Mental Health Month

Minority Mental Health Month is a nationwide effort developed by Mental Health America to “shed light on the multitude of mental health experiences within BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities and others that face disproportionate inequities due to systemic barriers and historical adversity.”

Marginalized, oppressed, and disenfranchised people have unique concerns, trauma, stress, obstacles, and challenges because of historical experiences, cultural differences, and social disparities. It is vital to have culturally competent professional counselors provide a safe and trusting environment and assist in eradicating minority stigma, bias, and mental health misdiagnoses.

Over the month of July, ACA will be dedicated to bringing awareness to the barriers BIPOC communities and others experience in getting mental health care and the role professional counselors play in supporting them while also working to address and amend the issue.

Participate in MMHM

BIPOC Mental Health Care Facts

African American and Latinx Use of Mental Health Services

African American and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about ½ the rate of White Americans in the past year.

Asian American Use of Mental Health Services

Asian Americans used mental health services at about ⅓ the rate of White Americans in the past year.

36% of Latinos Receive Care for Depression

36% of Hispanics with depression received care, versus 60% of whites.

58.2% of African American Youth Receive Mental Health Care

In 2018, 58.2% of Black and African American young adults 18-25 and 50.1% of adults 26-49 with serious mental illness did NOT receive treatment.

8.6% of Asian Americans Seek Mental Health Services

Only 8.6% of Asian Americans sought any type of mental health services or resource compared to nearly 18% of the general population nationwide.

Why BIPOC Mental Health Matters

Black/African American:

  • Black and African American people living below poverty are twice as likely to report serious psychological distress as those living over two times the poverty level. [CDC]
  • Men of African descent are nine times more likely than White men to be victims of homicide.
  • Historical adversity translates to socioeconomic disparities experienced by Black and African American people, which is linked to mental health. [Source]
  • Adult Blacks and African Americans are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than adult Whites. [CDC]


  • Latinx parents may expedite assimilation in their children by promoting adoption of American culture, leading to internalized racism which can cause depression and low self-esteem.
  • Latina adolescents attempt suicide at higher rates than other gender/ethnic groups: 20% of Latina adolescents report a plan to commit suicide and 11.1% attempt suicide.

Asian American:

  • Xenophobic racism against Asian Americans has surged as the coronavirus sweeps the U.S., with reports of hate crimes averaging approximately 100 per day.
  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Asian Americans ages 15-34.
  • One study found that 70% of Southeast Asian refugees receiving mental health care were diagnosed with PTSD.

Middle Eastern:

  • Women who emigrated from the Middle East may be subjected to domestic violence, particularly if they entered into arranged marriages with American men.
  • Asylum seekers from the Middle East may cope with mental health issues related to situations they have fled, including torture, war, political oppression, and other circumstances.

Native American/Indigenous:

  • Due to high levels of poverty, many Native Americans face economic barriers that prevent them from receiving treatment. [Source]
  • Compared to Whites, three times as many Native Americans lack health insurance – 37% compared to 6.3%. Approximately 2.5 million Native Americans rely on the Indian Health Service for care. [Source]
  • Native Americans who meet the criteria for depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorders are significantly more likely to seek help from a spiritual healer than from specialty or other medical sources. [Source]

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Barriers to Mental Health Assistance

Barriers that Prevent Seeking Mental Health Assistance

• Language barriers
• Cultural stigmas
• Lack of awareness of the purpose and benefits of counseling
• Lack of healthcare

Refugee Mental Health Issues

Common Issues Among Immigrant and Refugee Communities

• Fear of deportation
• Exposure or harm to oneself and one’s family
• Cultural differences between collectivist and individualist societies
• Intergenerational conflict and emotional responses
• Isolation

Confront BIPOC Mental Health Barriers

Aziz Karawa

Consistently meeting with a mental health professional has been extremely helpful to my life. There are many traumas that I have experienced that left unhealed scars. Speaking with a professional about them has led me in the direction of peace and contentment. I recommend it for any and every one, it will make you a better human being.

— Aziz Karawa

Jazmone Wilkerson

When you are with your clients, be with them in the moment in that space and time. Your clients deserve nothing less from you and, in fact, it is required ethically. If you can’t, don’t! If you’re impaired and can’t see your clients make sure you do what’s appropriate according to the ACA Code of Ethics to provide them with the quality care they need. Most importantly… it’s okay not to be okay. You might be experiencing anger, burnout, sadness, anxiety, or a mix of all four. These are strange times. Read full blog post.

— Jazmone Wilkerson, J.D., LCPC, NCC

Ariel Phelps

As a BLACK counselor, my diverse experiences aid me in developing an understanding to work with multicultural individuals and challenge me to look beyond the surface! My expertise is to celebrate everyone, but now it’s time to celebrate MINORITIES! Happy Minority Mental Health Awareness Month!!

— Ariel Phelps, MA, LMHP-R

Christine Forte

As a counselor who has worked with clients of all races, it is then part of my ethical code to advocate against barriers to their growth and development. I would certainly say that this includes advocating for equality. So while I am no expert on how change needs to happen or what comes next, I do know that what has been happening in our country in the way that members of minorities have been discriminated against and abused needs to stop. Read full blog post.

— Christine Forte

Ways Counselors Can Help

Join Our Community

Join Our Community

Manage and Assess Your Mental Health

Click below to access each of the mental health tools provided.

Just Breethe

Watch Just Breethe Video

Take Mental Health Test

Take Mental Health Test

Join Panel Discussion

Join Panel Discussion

Download Tips

Download Self-Care Tips

Read About Racial Disparities

Read About Disparities

Additional Minority Mental Health Month Resources