Minority Mental Health Month
Each month, Yomassage focuses on one underrepresented population and look for ways to serve, donate, or offer therapeutic touch through Yomassage and encourage all Yomassage Therapists to do the same. Share your own project with #yomassagegives and we will help you promote your event or highlight your story!
As Pride months comes to a close, we continue to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and bring our awareness to Minority Mental Health Month. In 2008, the US House of Representatives established July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This observance aims to improve access to mental health treatment and services for multicultural communities through increased public awareness.
Often society’s deep-rooted prejudice can cause feelings of rejection and estrangement among minority groups. Structural barriers such as immigration status, economic conditions, education levels, and access to public health benefits make access to mental health care challenging among the LGBTQ+, minority racial/ethnic groups, and refugee/immigrant populations.
Here are some statistics from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
- In 2017, 41.5% of youth ages 12-17 received care for a major depressive episode, but only 35.1% of black youth and 32.7% of Hispanic youth received treatment for their condition.
- Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic group.
- In 2017, 13.3% of youth ages 12-17 had at least one depressive episode, but that number was higher among American Indian and Alaska Native youth at 16.3% and among Hispanic youth at 13.8%.
- In 2017, 18.9% of adults (46.6 million people) had a mental illness. That rate was higher among people of two or more races at 28.6%, non-Hispanic whites at 20.4% and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders at 19.4%.
- LGB adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition
- LGBTQ people are at a higher risk than the general population for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts
- High school students who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are almost five times as likely to attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual peers
- 48% of all transgender adults report that they have considered suicide in the past 12 months, compared to 4% of the overall US population
According to Mental Health America, "While the term ‘minority’ is traditionally associated with racial, ethnic, or cultural minorities within the US, Mental Health America (MHA) is focused on expanding this term to include individuals from a wide-range of marginalized and underserved communities, including those who may identify as part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, refugee and immigrant groups, religious groups, and others who are often overlooked." It is important to understand the obstacles these populations may face so that we can work towards improving their situation by increasing access to resources they may be lacking.
We are firm believers in the power of therapeutic touch, mindfulness and community on our overall well-being and mental health. While Yomassage aims to be accessible, we realize it still may be out of reach financially for some, which is why we are promoting #Yomassagegives. We encourage you to become familiar with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (https://nami.org) where you can learn more about these issues, find support for yourself or a loved one, get involved in advocacy issues, and find communities near you that would benefit from access to Yomassage!