Mental Health and Minorities: The Numbers Don’t Lie

As we recognize this year’s National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re reminded that mental health care in the US continues to be an important health crisis that affects a large portion of the population.  According to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, less than one-half of people with serious mental illness receive treatment, and in general, monitories have less access to proper mental health care services when they need them.

In order to increase awareness about this important mental health topic, the OMH has published the following eye-opening statistics, highlighting the urgent need for increased mental health care for minorities:

  • The death rate from suicide for African American men is almost four times that for African American women, in 2009.
  • African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Older Asian American women have the highest suicide rate of all women over age 65 in the United States.
  • Suicide attempts for Hispanic girls, grades 9-12, were 70% higher than for White girls in the same age group, in 2011.
  • While the overall death rate from suicide for American Indian/Alaska Natives is comparable to the White population, adolescent American Indian/Alaska Native females have death rates at almost four times the rate for White females in the same age groups.

(Source:  The Office of Minority Health)

Birmingham Maple Clinic employs over 39 expert therapists from a variety of professional and cultural backgrounds, offering specialized therapy designed to help people adjust to psychological issues unique to some minority groups, such as immigration and cultural adjustment. Multi-lingual therapy is also available in German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.

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