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bipoc mental health

BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month

BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month is held each July and we along with other behavioral health organizations bring awareness to the unique mental health conditions that these groups of people face along with disparities. This acronym stands for Black, Indigenous People and People of Color – formerly referred to as minority.

BIPOC Mental Health Statistics

Most racial groups have similar, or in some cases fewer mental health conditions than whites but the affects in BIPOC groups last longer. For instance, 17% of Black and African American report having a mental health condition along with 15% of Hispanics, as opposed to almost 22% of white people.

Additionally, American Indians/Alaskan Natives report higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol dependence than any other group.  Mental health conditions are more common with people in the criminal justice system, which has many more people of color than whites. Between 50% to 75% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a mental health condition. Racial and/or ethnic youth with behavioral health conditions are referred more often to the juvenile justice system than to specialty primary care, compared to white youth. To add onto these statistics, this same group is also more likely to end up in the juvenile justice system due to harsher disciplinary practices such as suspension in schools.

 BIPOC Mental Health Disparities

This group of people in our community is less likely to receive mental health care. In a recent study it showed that among adults with mental health conditions, 48% of white received services. Additionally, only 31% of blacks and Hispanics and 22% of Asians received them.

There are a lot of factors that affect the access to treatment including:

  • Not having insurance
  • Stigma associated with mental health conditions
  • Lack of diversity among providers
  • Language barriers
  • Distrust in the health care system
  • Low cultural competence among providers

Why Does This Continue to Happen?

Lack of cultural understanding by health care providers is a big contributor. This includes language differences, stigma of mental health conditions and cultural presentation of symptoms.

What Can We Do?

Here you can find specific resources for mental health support and treatment specifically for the BIPOC community.

No matter what race or group you identify with, if you believe you have a mental health condition, reach out for help. There are mental health professionals here to work with you every step of the way and online support groups. Learn more about our mental health programs.


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