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July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. The US House of Representatives proclaimed July as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008, aiming to improve access to mental health treatment and services through public awareness campaigns. Mental health conditions are found in all communities and individuals. They do not discriminate based on a person’s race, gender, or socioeconomic status.

The main goals of this month are to improve and increase access to mental health services, and treatment, and to raise awareness of mental health illnesses and treatment in minority populations.

About Mental Health in Minority Populations

About one in five U.S adults has a mental health condition, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. In 2017, 1 out of every 8 adults struggled with alcohol and substance abuse disorder and 8.5 million American adults suffered  from a mental health and substance abuse disorder. Drug addiction impacts all demographic groups, however some subsets of Americans are disproportionately affected by substance abuse, and access to treatment can differ by race and gender. Risk factors to addiction include lack of high quality mental health care services, discrimination, cultural stigma, and lack of awareness and knowledge about mental health.

As of July 2019, the demographic breakdown by race in United States was as follow:

  • White: 60.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 18.5%
  • Black or African American: 13.1%
  • Asian American: 5.9%
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native (AIAN): 1.3%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI): 0.3%

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health tracks data of substance use in the United States based on race. We see that:

  • White: 7.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino 7.1%
  • Black or African American 6.9%
  • Asian American: 4.8%
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native: 10.1%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 9.3%

As shown from the data above, certain minority groups have higher rates of substance use as compared to others. This data supports the finding that there are still gaps in health care across populations that need to be addressed.

Casa Treatment Center celebrates National Minority Mental Health Month by raising awareness about mental health issues affecting minority populations.