Minority Mental Health Month
July 17, 2017
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. During the month of July, treatment professionals from around the United States engage in conversation and awareness efforts promoting mental health.
In American culture, there is a negative stigma surrounding mental health. Often, in Hispanic communities, that stigma is intensified. The way people talk and react to mental health concerns has a profound effect on whether people seek treatment.
In the popular television series Homeland, the main character (Carrie Mathison) struggles with bipolar disorder. She is forced to conceal her illness in fear of her job being threatened. When she is not ‘med-compliant,’ she suffers from intense bouts of mania, during which people think she is “crazy” or “insane.”
In reality, she is sick.
When people catch a fever, they go to the doctor, take a few days off from work— and no one blinks an eye.
Take 2 days off from work because a manic episode, and people around the office start whispering that you are “crazy.”
The way we discuss and often shun people who struggle with mental illness has a negative impact on the overall health of our communities. In a perfect world, people should feel a nonjudgmental attitude towards seeking treatment.
In a perfect world, there would be no shame associated with asking for help.
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) understands how difficult it can be for people to reach out for help given this stigma. That is why the 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling Helpline is confidential. People are sometimes afraid to give any identifying information out of fear and shame and the FCCG always makes sure to let callers know that anonymity is a top priority when providing resources.
During July, expand your thought process as it relates to mental health. People of all ethnic backgrounds should feel that treatment is an option, for any mental illness.
To read more and find way to get involved, click here.