Minority Mental Health Month

Mental health conditions do not discriminate – across ethnicity, race, gender, economics, nor politics. Brain diseases don’t ask questions. And we at NAMI-NYC work very hard every day to make sure that our services are as accessible to as many people as possible – in our office, and around the city.

Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness, regardless of their background.

However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult.  National Minority Mental Health Month was established in 2008 to address this disparity.  July is Minority Mental Health Month, and we hold our annual CARES Fair in recognition of #MinorityMentalHealthMonth.

Our beliefs, norms, values, and language affect how we perceive and experience mental health conditions. We know that racial and ethnic minority groups face additional barriers that prevent them from receiving care, such as higher levels of stigma, misinformation about mental health, and language.

Even when members of these groups are able to access treatment, they often receive poorer quality care due to lack of cultural competence, bias, and inadequate resources.  This results in misdiagnosis, dropping out of treatment, and a longer time to achieve recovery.  However, when a mental health professional does take into account cultural needs and differences, outcomes can be significantly improved.

Although everyone’s experience is unique, having information and knowledge about resources specific to your community can help you get better treatment.

We strive to tell the stories of all people who are impacted by mental illness.  Throughout July in particular, we purposefully highlight voices of people of color, and programs designed for individuals and families.  Please look for these stories on our social channels.  If you aren’t already, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact our Helpline so we can help. From 11am to 6pm, you can call 212-684-3264 (ext. 214 if needed en espanol), and you can email us 24/7 at helpline@naminyc.org.