Minorities are severely under served when it comes to mental health, which is interesting considering the fact that if you look at the statistics from 2008 you can see that races surveyed are affected pretty equally (Sidenote: most recent stats I could find).
Also, in an article last year ABC News Author Mikaela Conley writes “Only about 60 percent of people with mental illness get treatment each year, according to the report, and whites and Native Americans were more likely to seek help than African-Americans, Latinos and Asians.”
Which begs the question, If “1 in 5 Americans suffers from mental illness” then why isn’t there more time, dedication, or resources put forth to solve the problem for ALL people? The title of the article is not race or gender specific, it is all inclusive. I have a theory, which might be a possible answer.
There is such an importance placed on physical health; so much so that it seems to be more important than mental health. Let’s think about it this way… in the workplace, school, or just in life most people are often put in positions to prove themselves. I think the pressure to do so is more prevalent with minority groups. People in positions of authority are often looking for people who belong to those groups to be physically up to par in looks and in strength, and somehow think that the mind is separate from that.
Physical toughness comes through and is enhanced BY mental endurance. Physical attractiveness is accented WITH mental capacity. I still believe with my whole heart that the way to serve people with mental illness is for others in positions of power to make themselves available as a resource, help others see their worth and value, and help them see that their value is just as equal as anyone’s. This would mean that people of color would not know their place, but know their purpose.. it would empower others in the best way possible.
Keep in mind I don’t mean to be exclusive, but I want to help bring attention to an under served population of people; to remove stigma by telling the truth about what happens in America. If mental illness does not discriminate, then neither should we. It’s time for ALL people to be encouraged to seek help and to know their value. It’s only fair.