Information provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Mental Health
On Wednesday, July 18, at 2pm ET, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health is hosting a Twitter chat in conjunction with National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. What kinds of disparities exist? Consider these statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
- Over 70% of Black/African American adolescents with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment for their condition
- Almost 25% of adolescents with a major depressive episode in the last year were Hispanic/Latino
- Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic groups
- In the past year, nearly 1 in 10 American Indian or Alaska Native young adults had serious thoughts of suicide
- In the past year, 1 in 7 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults had a diagnosable mental illness.
The bottom line, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): “racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care.”
What kinds of programs can help? For a few, check out the Jed Foundation’s “A Framework of Recommendations for Colleges and Universities to Support the Mental Health of Students of Color;” “Creating Linguistically and Culturally Competent Suicide Prevention Materials” from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center; and SAMHSA’s “TIP 59: Improving Cultural Competence.”
Curious about your state? Find your state minority health contact here.
For more information about health disparities, visit
- SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions
- SAMHSA Behavioral Health Equity
- National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (download)
- National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities Health Equity 101
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Think Cultural Health”
What do you think?
- What can you do to support implementation of CLAS standards in your work and community?
- In what ways have you or someone you know been adversely affected by racial, ethnic, etc., disparities in mental health care?