July is BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month. As we consider the importance of mental health awareness for our minoritized community members, clients, and staff, it is important to be aware of the data regarding disparities in access to mental health services, and the commitment to ensuring that we do our part to help begin closing that disparity gap. Burrell Behavioral is an organization that is committed to serving and celebrating all, it is important we acknowledge the historic and present-day neglect of mental health care for BIPOC communities while uplifting the voices of both the individual and group experience.
Here are some statistics on individuals within the BIPOC population who have a mental health condition according to Mental Health America and the National Alliance of Mental Health:
- It is estimated that at least 18.7% of American Indian/Alaska Natives have experienced a mental health condition within the past year.
- There are over 10 million Arab/Middle Eastern/Muslim/South Asian (AMEMSA) individuals in the U.S., but there is little data around mental health for these communities.
- There are at least 2.9 million Asian/Pacific American living with mental health conditions.
- More than 7 million Black and African American individuals in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition
- With more than 61 million living in the U.S., 10 million Latinx/Hispanic individuals are living with mental health conditions
Mental health disparities exist due to lack of access to resources, insurance, stigma, lack of diversity among providers, and low cultural competence among providers and organizations. Mental health services remain inaccessible to many BIPOC individuals and communities. Racism is a direct component to mental health concerns and should be treated as such. Racism – be it systemic, interpersonal, institutional, internalized, oppressive or other – causes trauma, which in turn paints a direct line to mental illness. As part of our organization’s mission, we hope to begin shifting the data and narrative so that all individuals receive quality mental and behavioral health care.
We invite you to take a moment this month to learn about a resource or best practice that will positively impact our BIPOC communities. Below are some resources related to BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month:
We welcome you to contact Burrell’s Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (Diversity.firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or for additional resources. Together, we can help ensure that we build the expectation that all people receive the best care for wellness.