There’s a lot to celebrate in July from Summertime to the Celebration of Independence (aka. The Fourth of July)! But, did you know that July is also Minority Mental Health Awareness Month?
For those of you history buffs out there, Minority Mental Health Month was started in 2008 to bring awareness to the mental health struggles that are unique to the underrepresented groups in the US.
Who Is Considered Part of a Minority Group?
When we say, “Minority groups” we typically think of major racial and ethnic groups.
However according to Wikipedia, a minority group refers to a category of people who experience relative disadvantage as compared to members of a dominant social group.
This includes L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. (ie. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex, and asexual or allied).
Whether you consider yourself part of a minority group or consider someone close to you as part of a minority group, there’s likely a heart string or two that gets pulled when we talk about people we love being treated as less than someone else.
Anyone who knows a little bit about The Wave knows that we are strong supporters of diversity and the gay community.
We have seen first hand, some of the significant struggles that can arise when being a part of a minority group.
With last month being Pride Month this month’s message comes at an opportune time for us to continue to actively work towards equality for everyone.
Mental Health Does Not Discriminate
Mental Health conditions do not discriminate based on the color of our skin or how we identify ourselves.
However, our race, color, gender and/or identity can significantly hinder our ability to gain access to needed mental health care.
Unfortunately, mental health care continues to carry a stigma.
Breaking the Stigma: Minority Mental Health Awareness
In my ongoing mission to actively work on breaking this stigma it’s vital we draw attention to the message of Minority Mental Health Month.
A message that NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) proudly displays during this month on their website is one we strongly agree with.
“Taking on the challenges of mental health conditions, health coverage, and erasing the stigma around mental illness requires all of us.”
Curious about how to get involved with Minority Mental Health? Check out this article from NAMI on how to start getting involved today!
One of the steps in NAMI’s article, notes the importance of finding a culturally competent provider.
The Importance of a Culturally Competent Provider
A determining factor in the outcome of your mental healthcare is the rapport or lack there of you have with your provider.
Essentially, feeling comfortable, enabling you to be able to be open and honest to actually talk about what the heck is going on in your life.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your true actions, thoughts and feelings and/or feel misunderstood or judged by someone you are trusting with your mental health it’s important to identify this and find a better fit for you. It’s actually pretty vital for the process.
Whether we are part of a minority group or not, we all deserve mental healthcare that recognizes our unique qualities and works with us as a team.
Together let’s work towards breaking the mental health stigma and bringing support and awareness to the unique mental health struggles among Minority Groups.
Together Lets Bring Awareness to Courage
This week I wanted to leave you with an awesome 3 three-part documentary series created by NAMI titled, Strength Over Silence: Stories Of Courage, Culture And Community.
In this docuseries, NAMI explores the unique perspectives of mental health from individuals of minority groups who candidly and courageously share their experiences and journeys through their mental health struggles, resiliency & recovery.
If we can be of any help here at The Wave, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
We look forward to talking with you soon!