July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Consider the following statistics:
Projections forecast more than half of Americans will belong to ethnic minority groups by 2044
Racial minorities are more likely to be disabled due to mental disorders
White Americans, as opposed to African or Hispanic Americans, are more prone to depression; however, depression rates in African and Hispanic Americans typically last longer
Those who identify as two or more races are more liable than any other racial or ethnic group to report mental illness 1
Asian-Americans are three times less likely to seek mental health treatment than other racial/ethnic groups 2
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the rate mental illness in minorities, who are more likely to experience pandemic-related stressors, such as increased threat of infection, greater illness severity, unemployment, and COVID stigma.
Several opportunities exist to reduce the stigmatization of mental health treatment in minority communities as well as decrease the disparity between mental health disorders and their associated interventions. For example, normalizing mental health challenges through conversations as well as prioritizing treatment can lessen shame associated with minority mental illness.