Shining a Spotlight on Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
Since 2008, July is recognized as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month where advocates raise awareness about mental health and promote access to treatment for diverse communities.
People from diverse communities have developed powerful strategies for promoting mental health in their communities; including strong family ties, robust spiritual traditions, and mentoring from community elders. However, these communities also face unique challenges to their mental health and well being. We know that people from ethnic and cultural communities are, in general, less likely to receive mental health services, and those who are in treatment often receive poorer-quality care . For example, in a recent RAND study researchers found that Latino’s have the lowest rate of service utilization with 18% reporting seeking treatment, compared to 66% of whites. Asian-Americans had the second lowest rate of service utilization with 32% of participants reporting that they sought help for mental illness .
While stigma is a significant factor that prevents diverse communities from disclosing and seeking treatment, additional barriers contribute to the low rate of service utilization. Factors such as lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services, socioeconomic differences, racism and discrimination, and the impact of historical trauma can impede the ability to get help.
As California’s Mental Health Movement, Each Mind Matters is committed to raising awareness about the unique mental health experiences faced in diverse communities across the state. Through stories of hope, resilience, and recovery, we shine a spotlight on minority mental health not only in July, but the entire year. We’ve partnered with diverse community members and organizations to create resources that reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of the state. Check out a few of the resources below and visit www.EMMResourceCenter.org to view more outreach materials for diverse communities.
Description: A Native American community leader speaks about the mental health issues associated with his community and how discrimination has prevented many Native Americans from getting the help they need to recover.
Description: The SanaMente poster dispels misconceptions about living with a mental health challenge by providing facts for common myths in the Spanish speaking community.
Description: The African American Mental Health Brochure provides tips and resources for managing a mental health challenge as well as information on how to help others.
Description: A private therapist in the Cambodian community shares his experience with PTSD, how he proved to be resilient and how he continues to improve his wellness through helping others.
For related content:
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). Mental health: Culture, race, and ethnicity. A supplement to mental health: A report of the surgeon general. Retrieved from https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/ResourceMetadata/NNBBHS
 Wong, E., Collins, R., Cerully, J., Seelam, R., & Roth, B. (2016). Racial and ethnic differences in mental illness stigma and discrimination among californians experiencing mental health challenges. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1441.html