July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

Roots Mental Wellness would like to take a moment to recognize MHAS. Mental Health Advocacy Services is a private organization that has been providing free legal services to those with mental health disabilities since 1977. 

MHAS have a special knack for acquiring government aid which runs the gamut from homelessness deterrence to consumer finance and housing discrimination making them a terrific resource for both children and adults.

Mental Health Advocacy Services also delivers hands-on training and support to mental health professionals, attorneys, as well as other mental health advocates. MHAS partake in all these areas and more in order to improve the lives of those with mental health disabilities.

 Our hats are off to MHAS and their efforts in our field! Check them out at mhas-la.org

Did you know that July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month?

According to an article by The American Psychiatric Association, “rates of depression are lower in blacks (24.6%) and Hispanics (19.6%) than in whites (34.7%), depression in blacks and Hispanics is likely to be more persistent.”

Though it is difficult to pinpoint why depression is more persistent in minority cases, some offer potential answers that involve how the negative stigma of mental health is dealt with in these different communities. 

For example, in Gary Faye A’s article entitled Stigma: a barrier to mental health care among ethnic minorities he states that “The potency of the stigma of mental illness is one reason why some ethnic minority group members who would benefit from mental health services elect not to seek or adequately participate in treatment.”

It’s no secret that mental health illnesses exist in all cultures in the United States. Still, once you dive deeper into the research, it appears as though historical customs and heritage have great sway in making mental health a taboo in many minority families. There could be danger in one “saving face” by either not admitting to mental health issues to one’s family or by not getting the professional help needed to keep those problems within the family. Understandably, heritage, culture, and traditional ideals are extremely important to hang on to (they are the fabric that weaves the diverse tapestry of this country), but if cultural ideals uphold the stigma around mental health, it may come at a great cost. One thing we at Roots Mental Wellness Experience do is ensure that people from all backgrounds feel welcome and have access to any programs needed to help with mental illness in a stigma-free environment.

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