Diverse Communities

Even though most of the things we need to be mentally healthy are universal — like safe housing, supportive relationships, and good health care – a one-size-fits-all approach to mental health care just isn’t enough. Culture plays a key role in how individuals perceive and experience mental illness, including whether they choose to seek help and who they turn to for that support.

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 wellbeing. For example, 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.[1]

Many factors likely play a role including: a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services, socioeconomic differences, racism and discrimination, stigma toward people with mental health issues within the community itself, the impact of historical trauma, as well as the fear of experiencing a double burden of discrimination based on one’s cultural identity and mental health condition.

Each Mind Matters has worked with diverse community members to create a range of resources to reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of the state. We recognize that within the broader diverse groups listed below, there are several subsets and continue to work with community stakeholders to ensure that all communities are represented. We encourage you to explore the materials and links below. For more resources, visit the Each Mind Matters Resource Center at www.emmresourcecenter.org.

 

[1] 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. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieve from [source].

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African American

African Americans face many stressors that play a role in mental health. Read on for tools to help individuals reach out for support when needed.

Asian and Pacific Islander

Talking about mental health can be difficult in some Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Check out these resources and in-language tools to help start important conversations.

LGBTQ

Being a part of the LGBTQ community does not mean that one will experience a mental health challenge; however, it does come with a unique set of stressors. Learn more about resources created by and for members of the LGBTQ community to maintain mental wellness.

Latino

Latinos make up the majority of California’s population. Learn more about resources for the Latino community with these Spanish-language and English materials.

Native American

Fear of judgment, isolation and discrimination can interfere with Native Americans’ path to mental wellness. These resources were created to address those barriers for Native American people.

Mental health quick facts

75%

Percentage of all mental illnesses that start by the age of 24.

Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
6 - 8 years

Amount of time young people wait from onset of symptoms before getting help.

Source: JAMA Psychiatry, 2005
70% - 90%

Percentage of Individuals reporting improved quality of life after receiving support and treatment.

Source: NAMI California