BIPOC Mental Health Awareness
BIPOC = Black, Indigenous, People of Color
Did you know that 1 in 25 adults in the United States experience a serious mental illness in a given year?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reminds us that mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, culture, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. When trying to access treatment, marginalized communities have to contend with: Language barriers, a culturally insensitive system, racism, bias and discrimination in treatment settings, lower quality care, lower chance of health care coverage, stigma from several angles (for being a minority and for having mental illness)
These are all in addition to the usual road blocks. Many cultures also view mental health treatment as a luxury, considering symptoms a “phase” that will eventually pass. These harmful perceptions of mental illness can further isolate individuals who desperately need help.
Learn more about the challenges BIPOC face through these resources provided by Mental Health America.
- Black and African American Communities
- Latinx/Hispanic Communities
- A complete list of Spanish language materials can be found at: www.mhanational.org/latinxhispanic-communities-informacion-y-materiales-de-salud-mental-en-espanol
- Asian American/Pacific Islander Communities
- Native and Indigenous Communities
- LGBTQ+ Communities
Consider Sharing Your Story
Sharing your story is not only helpful to your own mental health journey, it’s also a great way to show others they are #NotAlone. Watch the NAMI docuseries, Strength Over Silence: Stories of Courage, Culture and Community to be inspired to share your own resilience.
If you are suffering from mental illness or feel at risk do not hesitate to get help. Here are a few free services to reach out to.
Need Immediate Help? Call 911. It’s important to let the operator to know it is a psychiatric emergency and ask for police officers trained in crisis intervention or trained in assisting people experiencing a psychiatric emergency.
Trans Lifeline: 877.565.8860; connect to community, support, and resources
NAMI Helpline: 800.950.6264; Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm CT; Online Knowledge Center
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800.273.8255 or chat with the Lifeline
Mental & Behavioral Health Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741-741; 24/7 crisis support via text message
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800.799.7233 (TTY: 800-787-3224) or chat by texting LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474; 24/7 support or seeking resources and information
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.4673 or chat with the Online Hotline; 24/7 support