July was designated as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008 to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face regarding mental illness in the United States.
The term ‘minority’ is traditionally associated with racial, ethnic, or cultural minorities. Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN) also embraces individuals who have been marginalized and underserved in the community, including those who may identify as part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Diversity and inclusion create a stigma free environment.
“Disparities in mental health care can prevent people in diverse communities from getting the treatment they need. The lack of quality care comes at a high cost to every community,” says OCHN Interim Executive Director, Anya Eliassen. “Our goal is to educate people about mental illness, treatments available, and eliminate stigma about mental health. All people have the right to quality care and services.”
Mental illness affects approximately one in five American families and people in diverse populations are no exception. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
- 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, OCHN is hosting a virtual forum on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Please join at https://bit.ly/3eM1bOLor view more information at www.oaklandchn.org under the News / Events tab.
Additionally, OCHN recently released a community-wide, Anti-Racism statement in support of public demand for improved diversity, equity, and inclusion for people of color. Click here to view the statement or visit OCHN’s website at www.oaklandchn.org under the News / Events tab / Press Releases.
For additional information about National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and to access resources and suggested activities, visit: www.nami.org/nmmham.