Did you know that African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at a rate about one-half that of Caucasian Americans in the past year? Asian Americans used the mental health services at about one-third that rate. This is important because 1 in every 5 adults, and 1 in every 10 children may have a mental illness at some time in their lives. With these statistics it is clear that minority groups do not get the care and support that they need to help with mental illnesses.
Mental health services are an important part of overall health and wellbeing. When minority groups do not get the services that they need they tend to suffer from more serious health issues. In fact African Americans are 20% more likely to suffer a serious mental health issue than any other population. Minority groups are reluctant to seek treatment due to lack of information as well as the stigma surrounding mental health.
We are proud to celebrate the month of July as Minority Mental Health Month. By spreading the word on this issue we hope to encourage individuals of minority groups to become informed about available services and to get the treatments they need. We want to support all minority groups in living healthier and happier lives.
Brooke van der Giessen
Alberta Professional Services Intern from Guilford College
Psychology and Criminal Justice