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  • Tanisha Herrin

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Six Ways to Get Involved

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Throughout the month people are encouraged to spread the word about what can be done to improve access to mental health treatment options for ethnic groups across the United States.

Mental health is a concern no matter what ethnic background you belong. People belonging to African American or Hispanic racial groups, for example, are less likely to seek help for mental health concerns. Lack of accessible and quality care, varying levels of stigma, and language barrier problems are issues facing minorities with mental health.

While there are ways to prevent disparities, raising awareness is essential so more minorities can get the treatment and care they deserve. What can you do to raise minority mental health awareness? Consider the following calls to action:

Get Educated

Learn about mental health concerns facing minorities through organizations promoting and advocating mental health. Gain knowledge about types of mental health illnesses, their treatment options, and which illnesses are posing the greatest threat to minority groups. Share details about free or affordable mental health treatment therapy options available to those with limited or no health insurance.

Reach Out to Local Causes

Get active in activities promoting mental health causes. Volunteer. Help through fundraiser campaigns. Attend meetings to voice ideas and concerns. Learn practices exercised in your community for minority mental health. Spread the word about what is going on with others.

Encourage and Support Others in the Struggle

Do you know someone who is dealing with depression, anxiety, or other mental health concern? Let them know they are not alone. Listen to them when they need to get something off their chest. Give them a pat on the back when completing steps to improve their mental health. Boost their spirits when they feel discouraged. Reassure them their efforts mean something.

Remember those Who Lost Their Struggle

There are too many people, young and old, who have died while struggling with their mental illness. From suicide to an accidental drug overdose, their deaths serve as an unfortunate reminder that more work needs to be done to improve and promote care and treatment options for all.

Contact Your State Representative

Stay in the loop with what is going on at the state and federal level with mental health issues. Millions of people may lose health coverage available through the Affordable Care Act if federal spending gets reduced. Millions of people took advantage of the Act so they could get mental health treatment that wasn’t possible before the health care law was established. Taking away coverage is taking away progress made toward self-improvement. Keep voicing concerns to your representative about mental health care and its availability.

Show Your Support on Social Media

It only takes a few seconds to share helpful information with others that can make a difference. If you thought this article was helpful, share it and other informative mental health articles. Want to promote a hashtag? Here are suggested hashtags for Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: #MinorityMentalHealth and #IntoMentalHealth

About Minority Mental Health Month: This month-long observance is officially recognized as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. It was created to raise awareness among minorities dealing with mental health issues by promoting concerns to the general public while working to improve access to treatment.

Bebe Moore Campbell passed away in 2006. She was a journalist, novelist, and national spokesperson for people affected by mental illness. Campbell was an advocate for mental health support and education among ethnic community members. She was recognized by her peers and organizations for her contributions toward mental health awareness.

Support established from the D.C. Department of Mental Health, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) made way for legislation in 2008 to designate the month of July toward minority mental health awareness in Campbell’s memory

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