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National Minority Mental Health Month

Categories: News

Since 2008, July has been celebrated as Minority Mental Health Month. The month-long awareness was created after Bebe Moore Campbell, a writer, teacher and mental health advocate, worked tirelessy to shed light on the need for black and other marginalized communities to focus on mental health.

Minority communities face unique struggles having to work through issues specific to their communities. Systemic failures along with discrimination amplify the need for mental health access and awareness. The goal of Bebe Moore Campbells Minority Mental Health Month is to increase access to mental health services and destigmatize seeking treatment for issues. Mental health needs to be part of self-care but it is increasingly difficult when faced with prioritizing immediate needs.

While Mental Health issues are present in every community regardless of race, ethnicity and gender, access to Mental Health services for minorities vary drastically. It’s easy to make the connection, in the US quality health care is seldom affordable. In addition, cultural stigmas prevent people from asking for help.

Seemingly recently, there has been improvement in our countries approach to Mental Health. There have been several cities that have implemented Mental Health Response Units that send Mental Health professionals to qualifying emergencies. In addition, socially we are seeing issues like Anxiety, PTSD and Depression being destigmatized bringing these disorders into conversations. The use of these terms has become commonplace in many social circles regardless of how debilitating they are. We have become more open to discussing the effects depression and trauma have on daily living. But we have a long way to go especially getting care into marginalized communities.

You are not alone

This month, let’s focus on sharing the message, “you are not alone”. We all struggle from time to time with life’s challenges and need to hear that message. Reaching out for help is the first step and online mental health resources like Better Help give hope in places where health care is not easily accessible.

It’s hard to know who you can turn to when your mental health is declining and the YWCA-MC is here to help. We have a 24/7 crisis line and provide Mental Health services on a sliding scale. If we cannot help we have resources we can give you. We do have a waitlist at this time as sliding scales are in high demand, but there are additional resources in the Monterey community, like Interim, Inc. This organization is a non profit in Monterey County that provides affordable housing, residential treatment, social support, homeless outreach and support, family outreach, and supported education and employment services for adults who have serious mental illnesses.

If you are experiencing mental health challenges, remember, you are not alone. Reach out for help today and get started on a better future. We all deserve happiness.

If you want to help grow our Mental Health programs, please consider donating today.

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