In the News

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Disparities

Minorities are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness, have less access to and availability of mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care.

Mental Health and African Americans

Poverty level affects mental health status. African Americans living below the poverty level, as compared to those over twice the poverty level, are 3 times more likely to report psychological distress.

African Americans are 10% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Non-Hispanic whites.

The death rate from suicide for African American men was more than four times greater than for African American women, in 2014.

However, the suicide rate for African Americans is 70% lower than that of the non-Hispanic white population.

A report from the U.S. Surgeon General found that from 1980 - 1995, the suicide rate among African Americans ages 10 to 14 increased 233%, as compared to 120% of non-Hispanic whites.

Mental Health and Hispanics

Poverty level affects mental health status. Hispanics living below the poverty level, as compared to Hispanics over twice the poverty level, are over twice as likely to report psychological distress.

The death rate from suicide for Hispanic men was four times the rate for Hispanic women, in 2014.

However, the suicide rate for Hispanics is half that of the non-Hispanic white population.

Suicide attempts for Hispanic girls, grades 9-12, were 50% higher than for White girls in the same age group, in 2015.

Non-Hispanic whites received mental health treatment 2 times more often than Hispanics, in 2014.

Mental illness affects one in five adults and one in 10 children in America, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Furthermore, mental illness is a leading cause of disability, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment, and racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. are even less likely to get help, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

During National Minority Mental Health Month, help raise awareness by encouraging your family, friends, loved ones and co-workers to learn more about improving mental health and illness.

For more information, visit the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.