Mental health is essential to our overall health, and the importance of attending to one’s mental health has become even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has not only negatively affected many people’s mental health but has also created barriers to treatment based on the White House, 2021.
In 2019, approximately 51 million U.S. adults 18 years of age and older reported a mental illness as stated by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Persistent systemic social inequities and discrimination related to living conditions and work environments, which contribute to disparities in underlying medical conditions, can further compound health problems faced by members of racial and ethnic minority groups during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and worsen stress and associated mental health concerns as highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Data show that race is an equally independent predictor of mental health utilization in research conducted by Timothy B. Smith, PhD. Service cost or lack of insurance coverage is one of the most frequently cited reasons for not using mental health services across all racial/ethnic groups according to SAMHSA.
In particular, African-Americans are 21 percent less likely than white European-Americans to use mental health services; Hispanics and Latinos (25 percent) and Asian-Americans (51 percent) are less likely to take advantage of mental health services than their white European-American counterparts, based on the American Psychological Association.
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation”- Glenn Close
·Stronger Together: Sharing Stories of Community Strength. June 8, 2021, at 12:00 pm. The public is invited to Greater Lowell Community Foundation’s 2021 Annual Meeting, which will highlight messages from community partners about strength and resiliency from the pandemic.