July is Minority Mental Health Month

For years there has been a stigma associated with mental health in communities of color. Mental illness is often considered a sign of weakness, and the fear of being labeled “crazy” or misunderstood has prevented many people of color from admitting their need for mental health services. 

Today there are approximately 7 million Black Americans living with mental illness in the United States, yet only one in three Blacks receive necessary treatments. 

July is Minority Mental Health Month, and the focus is to raise awareness while acknowledging the barriers that prevent people of color from receiving appropriate mental health treatments. 

Systemic racism contributes to inadequate services and the lack of equal healthcare access. In addition to the stigmas that exist within communities of color, cultural incompetency adds to the disparity between mental health services provided to people of color versus their White counterparts. For example, Black people are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and less likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder compared to Whites with the same symptoms. Moreover, Blacks are less likely to be offered medication and/or therapy in comparison to Whites (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190321130300.htm).

Alliance for Greater Works has fought tirelessly for mental health education and access for people of color. Alliance for Greater Works is excited to present a new initiative that aims to help improve the mental wellbeing of people of color: The Resilient Church Collective. 

The timing of this initiative coincides with what was a devasting year for people of color. The year 2020 was upsetting as the coronavirus disproportionately impacted our communities. The Resilient Church Collective is a statewide initiative that will equip and guide church leaders as they help their congregants process and heal post-COVID-19. The Resilient Church Collective will use a trauma-informed and healing-centered approach to lead Black churches in Texas through traumatic events. Learn more about this exciting initiative.

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Christie Dobbins

Community Engagement Specialist

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