Given that July is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to talk a little bit about how the issue of mental health is often stigmatized in POC communities, though it plagues us all. Mental illness does not discriminate against age, race, or gender but people of color often find it harder to get support and treatment than their Caucasian counterparts.
Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” –Fred Rogers
Since 2008, the month of July is used to help amplify the mental health disparities and struggles found within communities that are primarily POC (people of color). Here are just a few sobering reasons why an entire month is dedicated to BIPOC mental health awareness:
-BIPOC patients are less likely to be diagnosed by their PCP with a mental illness.
-For POC, cultural and religious stigmas are added burdens to overcome when considering getting treated for mental health issues.
-It is much harder for a person of color to find a culturally-competent provider to assist with a mental illness.
-BIPOC communities have lower rates of medical insurance, representation amongst mental health care providers and high rates of discrimination in treatment settings.
List of useful resources for POC: