Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Asian Americans and Mental Health
July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and there is no better time for people in minority communities to focus on their mental health. Too often, the mental and emotional health of people in different ethnic groups is either ignored or unaddressed.
This oversight occurs for many different reasons. It can have a tremendous effect on the lives of people who find it difficult to seek help for possible mental and emotional issues when they need it.
The undertreated Asian American population
While all groups deserve assistance, the Asian American population is having a particularly hard time lately. Because of rumors and misinformation surrounding COVID-19, people of Asian descent have been subjected to racism, and attacks against Asians and Asian Americans are on the rise.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7.6% of non Hispanic Asians between the ages of 18 to 25 reported a serious mental illness in 2017. Many expect that the number will increase due to the pandemic.
Such statistics demonstrate how happy, safe, and well-adjusted members of the group may feel. Added to the strain that everyone has felt since early 2020, with lockdowns, struggling businesses, worries about becoming ill, and numerous violent events, it’s no wonder that Asian Americans might feel anxious, depressed, or develop problems related to alcohol or drugs.
How to help or find help
July could be a good month to boost mental health awareness in minority communities and work to ensure that everyone knows their options when it comes to seeking help for emotional and mental issues. There are many different types of therapy available, and not all of them are expensive or exclusive to one group or another.
Not only that, but more and more mental health practitioners and addiction treatment programs specialize in helping individual minority groups. No matter what your ethnicity, there is likely to be a program available to help you understand, diagnose, and treat your mental health issues.
Since some minority groups believe that struggling with a condition such as addiction or depression is a weakness, Minority Mental Health Awareness Month can help people see that mental and emotional struggles are not weaknesses. Instead they’re common medical conditions.
Some ways to find help if you’re struggling with a mental health issue include:
- Rehab programs for alcohol or drug addictions. Some substance or alcohol abuse disorder treatment programs are geared to specific groups, including minorities, so people might be able to find a program that understands their specific heritages, belief systems, and needs.
- Support groups for specific minority groups. Often, just knowing that one is not alone in their emotional challenges, no matter how big they seem, can help people to cope with their feelings. Support groups cost very little or are free and can help people in minority groups to feel a sense of connection with others struggling with similar problems. This can make support groups a good, judgment-free zone for many.
- Therapists who specialize in treating specific minority groups. No matter what your ethnicity or race, when you’re seeking therapy or counseling for your mental health condition, it’s important to feel as if your therapist understands what you’re facing. You can find a counselor or therapist that specializes in your needs and is of the same minority group, which can help you to feel comfortable and establish a bond with them.
Regardless of what type of help or treatment you might be seeking, it is important to understand that minority mental health is a significant concern. Without information about the importance of taking care of mental health, people with conditions such as anxiety, depression, and addiction might fall through the cracks even though resources are available.
ncdhhs.gov – July Is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month | NCDHHS
minorityhealth.hhs.gov – Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Sunshine Behavioral Health
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