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    3 min read

    Increasing Inclusivity Beyond 'Minority Mental Health Awareness Month'

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    The 2021 theme of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is “Strength in Communities”. Your practice can become a vital part of its community by increasing your cultural awareness and learning about the social determinants of health impacting your community and clients.

    Numbers Demonstrate Need for Minority Mental Health

    Cultural stigma, lack of access to mental health treatment, discrimination, and social determinants of health drive poor mental health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority populations across the United States.

    The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health provides some startling statistics:

    • New call-to-actionIn 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for blacks or African Americans and Hispanics, ages 15 to 24.
    • Black females, grades 9-12, were 60% more likely to attempt suicide in 2019, as compared to non-Hispanic white females of the same age.
    • Poverty level affects mental health status. Black or African Americans and Hispanics living below the poverty level, as compared to those over twice the poverty level, are twice as likely to report serious psychological distress.
    • In 2018, Hispanics were 50% less likely to have received mental health treatment as compared to non-Hispanic whites.
    • The overall death rate from suicide for American Indian/Alaska Native adults is about 20% higher than the non-Hispanic white population.
    • In 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for American Indian/Alaska Natives between the ages of 10 and 34.
    • Suicide was the leading cause of death for Asian/Pacific Islanders, ages 15 to 24, in 2019
    • Southeast Asian refugees are at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with trauma experienced before and after immigration to the U.S.
      • One study found that 70% of Southeast Asian refugees receiving mental health care were diagnosed with PTSD.
    • In 2019, suicide was the leading cause of death for Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders ages 15-24.
    • In 2019, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders were three times less likely to receive mental health services or to receive prescription medications for mental health treatment as compared to non-Hispanic whites.

    Steps You Can Take to Help Overcome Obstacles to Minority Mental Health Treatment

    Poverty, health insurance status, legal status, stigma, bias, communication barriers, and other social determinants of health negatively impact the mortality and morbidity of clients in your community. Cultural competency is vital to understanding the symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, and barriers your clients may experience. Understanding your own bias and the bias of your office staff is key to successfully engaging with clients from the cultures in your community.

    When your practice understands and includes cultural needs into the care plan, the therapeutic outcomes significantly improve. Making a commitment to become more culturally competent can greatly impact the clients you serve. In your office this can include:

    • Having interpreters or a language line service available
    • Having a diverse workforce – representation matters!
    • Training all staff on cultural competency
    • Reinforcing confidentiality requirements to staff and clients
    • Increasing the visibility of services available and what languages these services are available in
    • Partnering with minority community leaders to increase your knowledge of the factors impacting your clients
    • Understand the role of holistic and spiritual care when discussing treatment plans and goals

    InSync Celebrates Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

    InSync Healthcare Solutions joins the mental health community in celebrating July as  National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. As a leading developer of specialized  EHR software for behavioral health practices, InSync tailors its system to suit the specific needs of your providers and your practice, offering everything from group scheduling and group notes to telehealth, e-Prescribing, eMAR, and custom forms, 

    schedule a demo with insync healthcare solutions

    For a closer look at how our interoperable, mobile-friendly and configurable software system can grow as your mental health practice grows, schedule a demo now with one of our experts. We're always happy to answer questions and explain how we can tailor our system to meet your needs while saving you time and money. 


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