Let’s Talk About — Mental Health Equality

Social Justice

In our present day society there are many who refuse to people that mental illness exists and that it is something that warrants much attention. When something is not acknowledged or physically seen  it is easy to pretend that these issues are imaginary, but the truth of the matter is that mental illness effects those all around us in very real ways.

Because a vast majority of mental illnesses do not present themselves in physical ways it is easy for them to be swept under the rug. Those who do speak out about their problems are highly stigmatized and experience backlash instead of receiving the care that they need.

Mental health and issues relating to it are not frequently discussed, but if there is one thing that is discussed even less than that, it is minority struggles with mental health illnesses. It was not until writing this post that I discovered that there was a National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM) every July, and I believe that a significant number of people are not aware of this too.

It is important to note that mental illness does not discriminate. It can affect anyone at any time regardless of age, gender, or race.  In addition to the everyday discrimination that minorities face, minorities with mental illness experience higher levels of stigma, less access to treatment, lack of mental health literacy and information, bias and discrimination in treatment setting, and more.

There has been a significant amount of research conducted by the American Psychological Association that helps demonstrate the lower quality mental health services that minorities experience compared to whites. In addition to struggling with a mental illness, minorities are almost guaranteed to face extremely poor quality treatments when they seek help.

An open platform must be established where people can talk about their issues, and we need to ensure equal quality treatments for everyone.

What do you think about mental illness? Do you think it is something that should be discussed?