July is Minority Mental Health Month, more recently known as #BIPOCMentalHealthMonth. BIPOC are often faced with years - even generations - of trauma, which translates to socioeconomic disparities and, in turn, is linked to mental health concerns today.
Today marks the start of Minority Mental Health Month (now known as BIPOC Mental Health Month)—a nationwide effort developed by Mental Health America to “shed light on the multitude of mental health experiences within BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities and others that face disproportionate inequities due to systemic barriers and historical adversity.”
To highlight Minority Mental Health Month, the American Counseling Association (ACA) will unveil a comprehensive digital campaign over the next few weeks dedicated to “Confronting the Barriers Impacting BIPOC Mental Health”.
There are many issues that affects minority mental health, such as deep-seated systemic racism and injustice affecting societal treatment towards BIPOC as well as racial disparities in the mental health system that can discourage BIPOC from getting the care they need. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, members of the BIPOC community are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness, have less access to mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care.
There are many established barriers for BIPOC that can affect their ability to receive treatment for mental health disorders, such as:
- differing cultural perceptions about mental illness
- racism and discrimination in the mental health system
- access barriers
- a fear or mistrust of the mental health treatment they receive
These barriers needs to be addressed in order to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness within BIPOC communities. It is vital to bring awareness towards minority mental health, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests have caused a heightened emotional and mental toll. As the work to fix these issues continue to gain momentum, the need to bring awareness and address the mental health of BIPOC will be crucial.
We hope you join us as we work to increase public awareness about the mental health needs of the BIPOC community!