For the past few years, the world around us has been in a constant state of anxiety and fear. A worldwide pandemic, financial instability, worries about job security, political turmoil and much more have deeply affected our lives.
However, throughout this time, the harrowing disproportionate distribution of resources and support channels for minority communities has been apparently clear. We live in a grossly unequal society where people from different ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities struggle to access the most basic rights.
The mental healthcare system is one such fundamental inequality that restricts millions of people from adequate mental healthcare and support. People from minority communities are likely to have limited access to mental health resources and public or community health services and are more likely to receive substandard or unequal care.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is a global initiative, started in July 2012, that aims to address the systematic inequalities in the mental healthcare systems and resource distribution. It highlights the vast negative consequences of such disparities that result in adverse health outcomes, including increased mental health issues and higher suicide rates in minority communities.
In this post, we will dive deeper into Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and understand its significance and how you can be an active part of it.
Importance Of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
1. Addresses Cultural Stigma
Social identity plays an important role in how people understand and perceive their mental health and well-being. In this way, the cultural stigma surrounding the idea of mental health that has been widespread in various minority communities acts as a disruptor in seeking the required help.
Many people continue to suffer for years due to the fear of embarrassment, social stigma, and lack of education about mental health.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month aims to dissipate crucial importance and resources in minority communities to help them understand mental health better. It helps people understand how taking care of our mental health is a vital part of our well-being, thereby helping them overcome generational and cultural myths and stereotypes.
2. Highlights the lack of diversity in the mental healthcare system.
Most of the time, people from minority communities who try to access professional services feel misunderstood. This is because of the gross lack of diversity in the American healthcare system. As per a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an astounding 88% of mental health counsellors in the country are white. This lack of diversity creates a divide between minority communities and health services.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month aims to advocate the need for diversity in the healthcare system. It also helps people find culturally competent therapists to help them feel truly heard and seen.
Now that we know the importance of this initiative let us dive deeper into how you can be an ally to the minority community this Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond.
How To Be A Part Of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month?
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is mainly directed toward highlighting the concerns and issues regarding the minority community. However, this cannot be done without proper social integration and action from all of us.
To be a good ally to the minority community this July and beyond, you can:
- advocate and vocally support policies and voices that vouch for making the mental healthcare system more accessible and affordable,
- spread awareness about the month and its importance through your channels,
- educate yourself and others around you, and
- identify and correct the biases and misconceptions you harbour or propagate.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is a month-long global initiative that aims to address the inequalities related to mental healthcare for minority communities. It requires collective and thoughtful participation from all sections of the society. We hope this post will help you understand the importance of the event and make your side of valuable contribution.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is also a reminder for people from minority communities to actively take care of themselves and focus on their mental health and well-being. To learn more about self-care and well-being for people from minority communities, click here.
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