Valley Behavioral HealthValley Behavioral Health

by Valley

The month of July is a favorite of ours here at Valley Behavioral Health, for a variety of reasons. Among those reasons, one of the strongest is that July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month! It’s a time for us to reach out to everyone in our communities, embrace our similarities and our unique qualities, and hopefully have a meaningful impact for those who need support. It’s unfortunate to say, but racial, cultural, gender, sexual orientation, and all other minority groups in Utah’s communities still struggle to receive the same necessary support as their non-minority neighbors. It’s up to us, to actively eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health challenges in minority groups, and support everyone’s ability to receive the treatment that could positively impact their wellbeing. This July, we invite you to join us in spreading awareness for Minority Mental Health Awareness Month!

 

Minority Mental Health Disparities: What’s The Difference?

Since our beginning, Valley has been committed to helping people of all ages, race, gender, culture, social, and economic circumstances receive mental health treatment. We firmly believe that each of us is on our own journey, and no one person’s circumstances are the same. However, at first glance, it may be unclear how minority groups could be impacted differently by mental health challenges than non-minority groups. So what is the difference?

Cultural Barriers – If you have ever been in a community where your culture or heritage was not the most common, then you are familiar with the challenges that can introduce. Communication challenges, language barriers, cultural norms, and pre-existing biases often make it difficult for minority groups to even start the conversation about mental health treatment. Moreover, every culture throughout the world has different tendencies towards receiving support, reaching out for help, individual, and community behavioral norms.

Stigma – Minority groups still struggle with widespread acceptance and support, no matter their race, sexual orientation, gender, or cultural foundation. This type of systematic stigma may be discouraging, or make it difficult for minority groups with mental health challenges to receive the appropriate treatment.

Employment & Coverage – When the two issues identified above go hand in hand, oftentimes it becomes more difficult for minority groups to access the same employment and insurance coverage opportunities as non-minority groups. As a result, minority groups are affected by the same mental health challenges but don’t have access to the same supportive resources.

Minority Mental Health Statistics

US Census Diversity Chart July 2018

As we’ve mentioned in a previous article about mental health, roughly 46.6 million adults in the U.S. experience some form of mental health challenges. The American Psychiatric Association does an excellent job of describing the different racial groups that comprise that population, and how those groups are impacted by mental health. Below are a few of the most impactful statistics they’ve defined:

  • Of those affected by mental health challenges, Black, Hispanic, and Asian groups are receiving roughly 20-30% less treatment as a group than White or multiracial groups.
  • As a population, individuals involved in the criminal justice system experience a higher percentage of mental health challenges. Furthermore, the criminal justice system is disproportionally represented by minority groups.
  • According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the youth of minority groups with behavioral health challenges are more likely to be referred to the juvenile justice system than young, non-minority individuals.

 

Help Valley Support Everyone In Utah Needing Assistance

We hope this information has shed some light on the additional challenges minority groups face when dealing with mental health challenges. We invite you to celebrate our unique communities and help us eliminate the stigma surrounding minority mental health, and as a community, we can deal with this together. If you, or anyone in your community, are struggling with a mental health challenge and need support we urge you to reach out to us. To speak with a Valley care professional, call us today!

Valley
About Valley
Since 1987, Valley Behavioral Health has provided comprehensive services for people of all ages who are experiencing mental illness, substance use disorders and behavior problems. Valley Behavioral Health is a not-for-profit organization serving residents in Salt Lake, Tooele and Summit counties.