By Cecilia Ponce, LSCSW, Behavioral Health Clinician
The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) has adopted “You Are Not Alone” as a moto for this year and Minority Mental Health Month. Throughout the month of July, NAMI will be sharing their Strength Over Silence mini-series, personal stories of lived experiences, blogs and other publications in hopes to forge a sense of connection in a socially distanced world.
Minority Mental Health
Minority Mental Health is unique in that we must address how culture, race and ethnicity may be both a risk factor as well as resiliency factor for the individual/group/community. As mentioned in years past, the goal of this designation is to improve access to mental health treatment, to help destigmatize mental health and to promote public awareness.
Some question how minorities might experience mental health and outcomes differently. It would be near impossible to discuss this without mentioning the effects of racism (overt and institutional), homophobia, ethnocentrism and discrimination on persons from minority groups. Language is powerful and creating an “othering” of a population is a double-edged sword of sorts.
According to NAMI, mental illness doesn’t choose who is affected by it, but culture, race, gender, or sexual orientation can affect access to treatment, support and quality of care for many. Let’s change this.
At HPC, we are lucky to provide culturally-effective care in an integrated setting.
We have staff that are bicultural, bilingual, who are trained and dedicated to providing quality care. We encourage staff to build on the natural curiosity, continue their education and collaborate with patients on treatment plans and care.
The Behavioral Health Team at HPC invites you to celebrate Minority Mental Health Month this July. And let us all continue to work together to “strive to create and maintain environments that foster cultural humility, which are culturally and linguistically responsive to the needs of all people.”