In 2008, the US House of Representatives announced July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. It is no coincidence that this awareness month is distinct from Mental Health Month in May. While mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender, or identity, a person’s background can significantly impact their ability to get help because of cultural and structural barriers to accessing mental health services.
Our communities still have significant work to do in equalizing access to mental health care, as evidenced by these concerning statistics:
- Only 1 in 3 Black Americans who need mental health care receives it.
- Annual treatment rates among adults who identify as Asian, Black or African-American, Hispanic or Latino, or mixed/multiracial are all significantly lower than for white adults.
- Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.
Common barriers to treatment include the cost of mental health care and insurance, prejudice and discrimination, and structural barriers like transportation.
We’ve compiled a few of our favorite local resources focused on mental health access and advocacy for minority communities.
Austin Area African American Behavioral Health Network hogg.utexas.edu/4abhn
Group working to strengthen connections and networking opportunities for African Americans who are interested in behavioral health in the Austin area. Composed of behavioral health professionals, people with lived mental and behavioral health experience, youth and their families, faith leaders, and community members, the network identifies and brings together local, recovery-oriented supports.
Austin Asian Community Health Initiative aachi.org
Nonprofit providing spaces, services, resources, and programs through an Asian American Pacific Inlander perspective. Provides healthcare navigation services.
Austin Latinx Chicanx Behavioral Health Network hogg.utexas.edu/lcbhn
The network launched in September 2019 to provide a space for Latinx/Chicanx persons interested in the design, delivery, and cultural appropriateness of behavioral health policies, programs, services and supports for LatinX/ChicanX persons living with or impacted by mental health, substance use, and/or developmental disabilities.
Black Mommas ATX blackmamasatx.com
Nonprofit addressing maternal health disparities, including mental health needs, for Black women.
Central Texas African American Family Support Conference ctaafsc.com
A conference focusing on the healthcare needs of African Americans. Provides opportunities to learn more about mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use disorder and physical health challenges and solutions.
D.Wood Foundation dwoodfoundation.org
The D. Wood Foundation’s mission is to enhance awareness for suicide prevention and advocate for mental health reform in minority communities.
Mind Matters: Black Mental Health Matters: Effects of Community Trauma on Mental Health namicentraltx.org
NAMI Central Texas and Rakima Parson of Centered Counseling talk about racialized trauma, how it affects Black mental health, and ways for the community to be well as we buffer against the trauma. Recorded in 2020.
Out Youth outyouth.org
Safe place for youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities to be themselves
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Mental Health - National Mental Health Awareness Month minorityhealth.hhs.gov/minority-mental-health
Resources, including information on health disparities, on minority mental health.
What’s in the Mirror whatsinthemirror.org
Nonprofit providing mental health awareness and suicide prevention to communities of color through art, advocacy, and affirming care with a focus on women, youth, and LGBTQIA+ persons.