During National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in July, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) will continue to highlight its free and accredited e-learning program: Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals. This program is part of OMH’s Think Cultural Health E-learning courses, which are developed to help health professionals develop the knowledge and skills to deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate services. OMH operates the Think Cultural Health website and provides free e-learning courses in support of the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (National CLAS Standards).
The program is accredited by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) for 5.5 contact hours for Counselors and Therapists, and accredited for Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers.
During July, OMH will also highlight resources to support people’s mental and emotional wellbeing while following the social distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stop the spread of COVID-19.
OMH encourages all our partners to join us in educating communities about the importance of mental healthcare and treatment and to help break down barriers, such as negative perceptions about mental illness.
Despite advances in health equity, disparities in mental health care persist. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care. Poor mental health care access and quality of care contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including suicide, among racial and ethnic minority populations.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the CDC:
- In 2017, 10.5% (3.5 million) of young adults age 18 to 25 had serious thoughts of suicide including 8.3% of non-Hispanic blacks and 9.2% of Hispanics.
- In 2017, 7.5% (2.5 million) of young adults age 18 to 25 had a serious mental illness including 7.6% of non-Hispanic Asians, 5.7% of Hispanics and 4.6% of non-Hispanic blacks.
- Feelings of anxiety and other signs of stress may become more pronounced during a global pandemic.
- People in some racial and ethnic minority groups may respond more strongly to the stress of a pandemic or crisis.
Visit this web page during National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month for downloadable materials and health resources. Follow OMH on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for OMH newsletters for additional updates.