Minority mental health: What can we do together?

Recognizing July as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, there is no more appropriate time to talk about mental health disparities among minorities. People of color continue to experience inequitable mental health care, and the solution to closing that gap is long overdue. Click on the video below from Beacon Health Options to learn more and how we must work together to ensure that all people get the care they deserve.


33 Comments. Leave new

Susan Kistin
July 15, 2020 8:00 pm

I strongly suggest that the name for this annual month in honor of racial/social justice be changed! “Minority” is outdated and a relative term… and I believe, a term created by the perspective of white privilege. It indicates in itself a “less than” perspective.

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Dale Seamans
July 16, 2020 3:23 pm

Thank you for sharing your opinion regarding the video. Beacon Health Options believes that open and transparent dialogue supports the movement to ensure health equity for all.

At this time, use of the term “minority” refers to the official name of July as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month as designated in 2008 by the US House of Representatives and the primary patient advocacy organizations of NAMI and MHA.

Beacon is currently reviewing the terminology we use to describe people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. We are seeking the input of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee and reviewing what is becoming the accepted terminology among the general public.

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Nawal Aboulhosn
July 15, 2020 8:01 pm

Mental health provider: I would love to sign up to provide up to five counseling sessions per month for free for minority population who do not have insurance.

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Clarence Youngs
July 15, 2020 8:50 pm

This is really great as an African_American therapist very interested..More information please…

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Glenn Collet
July 15, 2020 9:01 pm

Great article!!

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Access to care is a huge issue…telehealth AND telephone visits should be considered essential modes of access and should be covered permanently. Telephone visits in particular provide access to older individuals not fully familiar with tele health apps, those who live in areas of inadequate or absent internet, and in situations where access needs to be consistent (spotty internet, streaming issues, etc). Access to care in ALL forms should be supported in order to provide comprehensive care to all vulnerable populations..

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I have always seen any patient who desires my care – Regardless of Race, Creed, Financial Status, or Sexuality.

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And I strongly suggest that we stop dividing people up by race and using ever more linguistic cleverness to do so. The more we cooperate in focusing on what color people are the more we divide and set apart people one from another. The same with sex and ethnicity. Yes, of course we can distinguish one from another. We can do the same with height or weight or age or wealth. Should we created enclaves and policies and ‘competencies’ for every distinction? Where shall I get my accreditation in freckle therapy for people with freckles? Maybe I can write a psychological best seller on the life experience, specialness and intricacy of freckles, The logical conclusion of all the intersectionality is Individuality. GET IT !?!?!

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I like your response…totally agree!

Sadly this message from Beacon does not focus on other reasons why people with specific backgrounds do not seek counseling. Some cultures see counseling as weakness…other cultures do not believe in medicine as a form of treatment and are more organic or all natural. Not sure why this hasn’t been taken into consideration. Also, Shane on insurance companies for not offering telehealth sessions prior to a pandemic…this may have provided additional services to areas where they are too few or overwhelmed providers.

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Ok, a < 2 minute video. It's nice and all but pretty thin given what needs to happen. Here are some ideas: Hire a BIPOC trainer to do a big zoom training for therapists to discuss anti oppression and anti racism in the context of therapy. Pay them. Invite us. We'll participate.

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I have the same thought as Susan, the person who posted before me.

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There is much work to be done. As a black female, mental health provider, I have the honor of working with clients of all backgrounds. It would be helpful if insurance companies would make more of an effort to inform members that they have specific choices in the demographics of their provider.

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It is very appropriate that NASW take a formidable stand on racial equality and all minority equality

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It is appropriate that a;ll professionals in the Mental Health field take a stand on racial equality and also minority equality Equality for all !!

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Again! I strongly agree with changing that name!

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I agree with Susan Kistin!

The term minority is an extension of systemic racism; it discounts one’s ethnicity, culture, and humanity.

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About 40 years ago, I created an original character, “Dr. Jacobehik – Perceptionist”, as a way of reaching out during various community events, to draw in, connect with and empower people. Dr. Jacobehik dresses as, and gives the appearance of, a wise Romanian Gypsy. He appears from time to time in all sorts of places. Incredible things usually happen — people who would not go to a counselors office show up, open up and transformations happen. Think outside the box and meet people “where they are”.

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People of Color deserve to be treated by all health professionals with respect and dignity. If this were already the case, we would not need the BLM movement. Black Lives Matter because Black People have not always received the same level of care as others. Of course, Asian Lives Matter as well. Medical providers can make a difference by leading and acknowledge the pain that People of Color experience.

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I agree! When mental health training is from the perspective of working With the “other” , there is already implicit bias. And, it presumes that the therapist is Anglo.

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Susan Turner
July 16, 2020 12:10 am

I am glad this topic is being recognized and addressed. Itnis extremely important

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at my group practice we always try to serve the under served.

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Insurance companies and Dr’s offices should refer minority patients to counselors who are also from minority populations and encourage them to try 4-6 sessions. Many PCPs prescribe medications, they should encourage therapy which is confidential and enhances one’s mental health and lessens loneliness and the feeling of being alone and away from home! I would love to help the minority populations and contribute to their well being!

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Nancy Stokes, M.S., LPC
July 16, 2020 1:07 am

I’ve been a Psychotherapist for over 25 years now. And I want to focus on the vast increase over that span of all colors, genders, ages seeking Counseling/ Therapy. I think Oprah and Dr. Phil helped people understand mental issues better. The Counselors themselves HAVE to: see we are all the same underneath our skin; be welcoming to Men coming more; say yes to Hispanics/ Mexicans, Asians, Mid Eastern, African-Americans, Trans as well as LGB. I have been privileged to spend time with them all because pain, discouragement, confusion, loneliness, etc. knows no color!

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Carmen A. Reyes
July 16, 2020 1:49 am

If everyone could get the mental health care they deserve, it would be a dream come true. Unfortunately the reality is that most minorities dont seek or trust that it is a posibility. Most poor people dont have health insurance, language barriers are also a obstacles that prevents the access of health care.

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Bridgett Buckery-Smith
July 16, 2020 2:34 am

Agree. Racial/Social Justice. “Minority” Out dated.

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As a behavioral health and wellness provider; I hear the rhetoric; where are the funds into minority owned behavioral health and wellness practices to implement these heath disparities. We at ZWG would love to be a part of the solution! Let’s have a conversation.

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“Minority” is part of the problem. Please change the name

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Don’t just talk about it, recruit and credential more Black counselors.

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I believe that Medicaid and private insurance panels could do a better job at fostering relations with black owned Mental Health agencies who are often on the front line of servicing populations that are impacted at greater rates and severity than others.

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A name change is highly advisable.

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We need an ongoing conversation to address the inequities that make it hard
for people of color to have access to mental health counselors. I think it is important
to also encourage more people from a variety of backgrounds to become counselors
as we continue to have these types of conversations.

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Joan Israel
July 18, 2020 5:59 pm

Thank you for offering this very important information. Thank you for supporting how to help minorities. This is a need that must to be addressed by all of us in mental health.

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Our LCSW’s, who are among the very best mental health therapists, will continue to address minority mental health issues, with the sensitivity and knowledge we provide.

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