It is no secret that there is a lot of stigma associated with mental health and wellness. People find it hard to talk to a provider about their struggles with issues like depression and anxiety. Taking care of our mental health is so much more than taking medications for these concerns. Treatment should include regular visits to a psychiatrist and therapist or counselor who can help us work on skills building, emotion regulation and effective communication.
People who belong to racial, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities often struggle to get mental health help. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI, 2017), there are many reasons that this struggle might exist:
- Transportation issues, difficulty finding childcare/taking time off work
- The belief that mental health treatment “doesn’t work”
- The high level of mental health stigma
- Language barriers and an insufficient number of providers who speak languages other than English
- A lack of adequate health insurance coverage
There are many ways that we can help our friends and neighbors of minority groups get the help they need:
- Encourage mental health organizations to include minorities on staff.
- Share information you’ve learned about accessing quality care to others.
- Try to be more open and understanding towards what minority communities might be experiencing that you might not.
Here at Exult Healthcare, we specialize in helping those who belong to a number of different minority groups. Whether language, culture, religion, ability or sexual orientation differences, we strive to have diverse providers who create an environment of trust and support. If you or someone you know is looking for a safe place to access help for your mental health needs, call us at 469-714-0006.
By Cynthia Dsauza, Ph.D., LMFT-S