JULY 22, 2022
Mental health conditions can impact all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, class, sexual orientation, or other social identities. However, systemic racism, implicit and explicit bias, and other circumstances that make individuals vulnerable can also make access to mental health treatment much more difficult.
Mental health care is important to a person’s overall wellbeing. Mental health conditions are treatable and often preventable. Yet many people from historically marginalized groups face obstacles in accessing needed care. These obstacles, which have only been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, may include lack of or insufficient health insurance, lack of racial and ethnic diversity among mental health care providers, lack of culturally competent providers, financial strain, discrimination, and stigma. Moreover, immigration status, economic conditions, education levels, and access to public health benefits are just a few differences that can adversely impact people’s experiences when seeking mental health care.Since 2008, July has been designated as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to acknowledge and explore issues concerning mental health within minority communities and to destigmatize mental illness and enhance public awareness of mental illness among affected minority groups across the nation.
Taking on the challenges of mental health takes all of us.
All of society benefits when all people have access to mental health care, supportive social conditions, freedom from stressors that can compromise mental health, and access to other resources needed for health. We all have a role to play in promoting health equity.
Learn more about Minority Mental Health Month:
Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month — NAMI
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month — U.S. Dept. Health and Human Service Office of Minority HealthBIPOC Mental Health Month — Mental Health AmericaWhat is Mental Health Equity?Mental health equity exists when everyone has a fair and just opportunity to reach their highest level of mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Mental health disparities are defined as unfair differences in access to or quality of mental health care according to race and ethnicity. Disparities can take on many forms, are quite common, and are preventable. They can mean unequal access to good providers, differences in insurance coverage, or discrimination by doctors or nurses.
Mental Health Equity Statistics1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year50 percent of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 Click the above image to see more statistics on mental health in the U.S.Click the above image to see more statistics on mental health treatments in the U.S.Mental Health and Emotional Support is Available!Click the above image to watch a video and learn more about 988 in Pennsylvania.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please reach out for help. 988
988 is the new, easier way to connect callers directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. People who contact 988 via phone, text, or chat will be directly connected to trained counselors located at 13 PA crisis call centers who can immediately provide phone-based support and connections to local resources, if necessary. Note: If there is an immediate risk of endangering oneself or others, contact 911. Inform the operator that you are calling about a mental health crisis.
Crisis Text Line | Text PA to 741741 to start the conversation 24/7.
PA Crisis Hotlines | Find a crisis line in your county
Mental Health Support Resources for Pennsylvanians PA Support & Referral Hotline
1-855-284-2494 (TTY: 724-631-5600)
The Department of Human Services’ mental health support and referral helpline is available 24/7 and is a free resource staffed by skilled and compassionate caseworkers available to counsel Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions.
Get Connected to HelpPennsylvania Medicaid participants: Find an in-network providerCall 2-1-1: The United Way of Pennsylvania can connect you to help in your area; Search crisis services, hotlines, and warmlines near you.Psychology Today’s search engine SAMHSA’s search tool
Office of Advocacy & Reform (OAR)
OAR works on behalf of vulnerable Pennsylvanians both internally across state agencies and externally in our communities. Along with more than 100 volunteers, OAR is guiding the commonwealth and service providers statewide on what it means to be trauma-informed and healing-centered in PA.
Black Mental Health Alliance
The Black Mental Health Alliance supports the health and well-being of Black people and other vulnerable communities.
Asian Mental Health Collective (AMHC)
AMHC aspires to make mental health easily available, approachable, and accessible to Asian communities worldwide.
Help for the LGBTQ Community
The Trevor Support Center offers help around a number of topics, from healthy relationships, to coming out, to homelessness, and more. Connect with them by text by texting START to 678-678.
LGBT National Hotline: 888-843-4564The Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860LGBT National Senior Hotline: 888-234-7243Additional Minority Mental Health Resources
Prioritizing Minority Mental Health — CDC
The Role of Culture in Mental Health — Psychology Today
The Four Bodies: A Holistic Toolkit for Coping with Racial Trauma
— Nappy Head Club
Mental Health vs. Mental Illness: The Difference and Why It Matters
— Taylor Counseling Group
Health Equity — PA Dept. of Health