July Is BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month
By Anna Love
In an effort to raise awareness to the disparities and unique struggles that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) face in regards to mental illness, LifeAct recognizes and celebrates BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month in July. Formally known as minority mental health month, this awareness month acknowleges and brings to light the fact that BIPOC communities are:
- significantly more likely to develop mental health conditions
- faced wtih limited access to mental health resources
- have a multitude of increased challenges to accessing resources and quality mental health care, such as housing location, financial barriers, institutionalized racism, lack of health insurance, language barriers, stigma in their community, lack of diversity in providers, and low cultural competance of providers
Why do we need a BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month?
Due to historical racism and lack of access to the same health care presented to non-BIPOC folks, BIPOC communities face high trauma often causing mental illness. While BIPOC have rates of mental health disorders similar to Whites, these disorders are more likely to last longer and go untreated. LifeAct serves a multitude of schools across northern Ohio that have high populations of BIPOC students, so this community is incredibly important in our fight to end the stigma against mental health and most importantly, save lives from suicide. LifeAct stands by BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month because:
- Black and Hispanic children areabout 14% less likely than White youth to receive treatment for their depression
- In 2018, a study found that the suicide rate of Black children 5-12 was nearly twice that of White children of the same age
- In 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Black folks ages 15-24.
- For Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders ages 15-24, suicide was the leading cause of death.
- From 1991-2019 self-reported suicide attempts rose nearly 80% among Black teens
To learn more, visit LifeAct's BIPOC Mental Health Resources found here.