Mental illness does not discriminate. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and is the leading cause of disability in the United States. This National Minority Health Month, it is important to remember that mental health is fundamental to overall health and well-being. Every person deserves an equal opportunity to live long, healthy, and productive lives. While mental disorders are highly disabling across all populations, it has been found that racial and ethnic minorities bear a greater burden from unmet mental health needs. Thus, they suffer greater loss to overall health and productivity.
According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA):
- Over 70% of Black/African American adolescents with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment for their condition.
- Almost 25% of adolescents with a major depressive episode in the last year were Hispanic/Latino.
- Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic groups.
- In the past year, nearly 1 in 10 American Indian or Alaska Native young adults had serious thoughts of suicide.
- In the past year, 1 in 7 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults had a diagnosable mental illness.
Minority populations often face many barriers when it comes to finding external help such as language barriers, being uninsured or under-insured, or the fear of being stigmatized by friends and family due to cultural differences.
Robins’ Nest Counseling & Wellness Centers provide behavioral health and wellness services to children, adolescents, and adults of all ages. Our centers offer an array of evidenced based counseling techniques that have proven, successful results. We hold the highest standards pertaining to culturally competent service delivery.
Stay Active & Healthy
Physical activity improves mental health and helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases and other conditions that are more common among racial and ethnic minorities. Physical activity can lower stress, improve physical health, and boost overall happiness. Below are some physical and mental health activities to incorporate into your daily routine as encouraged by clinicians from our Counseling Centers.
- Exercise: Spend 20 minutes a day engaging in physical activity. It doesn’t matter what it is, just that you do it!
- Expressing Gratitude: Before bed write down three things you are grateful for that day.
- Spend time outside: Get outside and engage your 5 senses.
- Meditating: Many guided meditations are available free of cost. YouTube is a good start.
- Do Something Nice: Get out there and practice happiness. A kind deed is contagious.
- Laughing: Positive hormones are released when we laugh and smile.
- Sleeping: A healthy sleep schedule is key to promoting positive mental health.
- New Activities: Engage in something new. If you’re stuck, try a new activity that gets you moving and exercising!