Racial Inequity in Mental Health

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — July 19, 2021 — 2 min read
Mental health care is for everyone. But not everyone can access it.

Racial equity is when anyone of any race is treated fairly. Racial inequity is when someone receives unfair treatment based on their race.

We can see racial inequity in mental health by the numbers.

Black children under 13 are more likely to die by suicide than white children. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Asian American youth. Only a third of Latin Americans with a mental illness receive treatment each year.

These are just a few of the facts about how race impacts mental health. The deeper you look, the worse it gets.

Why is this happening? We can look at the numbers there, too.

Fewer than one in five psychologists are of a racial minority. Meanwhile, nearly four in 10 Americans are Black, Hispanic, Asian, or another ethnic minority. This means most people of color can’t see a therapist of the same race. And many people of color may not seek care because of this.

Non-white Americans are more likely to live below the poverty line. They’re also less likely to have insurance. A single therapy session can cost more than $200—even with health insurance.

Non-white Americans are less likely to own a car. This makes it more difficult to access treatment.

All these statistics add up.

These numbers make it clear that preventative mental health care is not a possibility for many people of color. And preventative mental health care can stop severe mental illness down the line.

So, what can we do?

Here are a few ways each of us can make mental health care more equitable.
  • Reduce stigma by talking about mental health and how race can play a role.
  • Choose and support providers who are trained in cultural competency.
  • Donate and volunteer with organizations that are trying to close the gap of mental health inequity.

Spread the word.

We put this information into a downloadable infographic below. Consider sharing it on your social media to spark conversations about inequality and mental health.

 


You can save or print this information with the infographic above.
 
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