Day: August 1, 2016

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month Maybe Over But The Recognition of Mental Health In Minority Communities Continues…

Oh, Man… I feel bad for not having been promoting in National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM)! Here in California (and pretty much all of U.S.) it has been hot!  I felt like my energy has been draaaaaained! However, since I’ve been taking my vitamins, especially iron vitamin yesterday I haven’t been feeling tired or sleepy at all!

Although NMMHAM is over, it’s still a reminder on how we still have a long way to go. Yes there is a stigma towards talking about mental illness in our respective communities and little representation among mental health professionals, but here’s where our stories—our voices come in handy.  By voicing our journey with our mental illness, we are encouraging one another to pursue education on our mental illness(es), own our successes as well as struggles during recovery, take responsibility of mental health, fight for our mental well-being and respect, and most importantly to be and stay courageous.  The more we do this, hopefully mental illness stigmatized in our communities and that mental health facilities, local, state, and national government will see a growing need for treatment and respect for people living with mental illness.

Once again, I am sorry I wasn’t able to cover as much throughout the month of July regarding NMMHAM, however I found some links to good stories on people with and advocating  for mental health disorder(s). These are good stories and no matter your cultural identity, I would still encourage you to read the articles parallel to your cultural identity. How else anyway was I able to find such great articles? By doing so, you will realize that mental illness affects you regardless of your cultural background and that we should come together to kick mental illness to the curb! So for more stories, click on the websites below:

Mental health policies at universities draw increasing concern

Does NBA have right plan for mental health going forward?

People of color deal with mental illness, too

4 Black women writers get honest about mental illness and race

Depression in the Black community looks different causing mental health workers to overlook symptoms such as anger and agitiation

Therapists often discriminate against black and poor patients, study finds

OITNB’s Diane Guerrero discusses anxiety, depression, & family

Mental Illness An Epidemic Among U.S. Latinos: Only 1 in 11 Seek Treatment

Conversations about multiculturalism and mental health: My personal experience

How This Grammy-Winning Gospel Singer Got Over the “We Don’t Talk About Mental Health” syndrome

Run-DMC Member Opens Up About His Battle With Mental Illness

Addressing stigma, disparities in minority mental health: Access to care among barriers

America’s Health Centers Address Health Inequality

Sometimes I wonder why do some people (besides the color of their skin) do not get the treatment they need to achieve their optimal mental health. I too am a person of color and nobody told me to pursue my mental health. Sometimes whenever I feel I am about  to go on an ego trip, I remember my parents.

Although I may have had my mental illness for a long time, my parents being migrants of this country didn’t know where and how to seek treatment. From where my parents come from, things like mental illness isn’t talked about or noticed.My parents never knew the free to low cost services that was offered to me while I was growing up that I know now as an adult. Heck…it was hard for them to accept something was wrong with me (although they kinda had a feeling).

So apart from having barriers such as being an immigrant, lack of awareness of mental health disorders and the services that cater to it, what is keeping people and/or their family from pursuing their mental health? The infographic below gives a few reason why U.S. citizens do not pursue their mental health. Among those reasons are where we work, live and play. Such factors can impact the search for achieving optimal mental health. For more information, check out the infographic below: