Location:
P.O. Box 723, Suwanee, GA 30024

ELIMINATING BARRIERS TO MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN MINORITY COMMUNITIES

What occurs when a person’s experiences as a Black community member collide with their mental health? Despite the wide variety of Black American experiences, there are common cultural characteristics that influence how mental health is defined and foster wellness, tolerance, and recovery.

Family ties, core beliefs, musical or spiritual expression, and reliance on social and religious networks are all enlivening aspects of our shared cultural experience that may be powerful sources of loving support.

However, dealing with racism, discrimination, and unfairness, which can adversely affect a person’s mental health, is another aspect of this common experience. Being mistreated or thought of as “less than” due to your skin tone can be upsetting and even traumatic. In addition, it is very difficult for Black people to get the attention and treatment they deserve.

Racism and prejudice have traditionally harmed black individuals in the US healthcare system. Unfortunately, a large number of Black people still experience similar issues when seeking counselling. Provider prejudice and cultural competency problems, both conscious and unconscious, can result in inaccurate diagnosis and poor care. In the end, this might encourage mistrust of mental health professionals and discourage people from getting help.

OBSTACLES TO CARE FOR RACIAL MINORITY GROUPS

Costs of health Care: According to studies, compared to their white counterparts, African Americans, Hispanics, and some Asian ethnicities have lower levels of health care. Financial hardship can affect anyone, but people from low-income and marginalized areas are disproportionately affected by this problem.

Location and mobility: There is a dearth of mental health professionals worldwide, and individuals who live in rural areas have particularly few options for assistance. The issue is frequently made worse by a poor infrastructure, and the two factors together may deter patients from obtaining therapy.

Facing Stigma: Acknowledging mental illness is stigmatized or seen as a sign of weakness in several cultures and racial groupings. Some people worry that it will change how others perceive them or that it will cause them to receive unfavorable treatment from their community.

Tackling Barriers

Expanding Network: Minority-serving physicians, hospitals, and clinics must be covered by health insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provides members with access to the biggest provider network in the state and sponsors safety net clinics for the most vulnerable patient populations in an effort to increase access to high-quality healthcare.

Encouraging Diversity: Building trust among minority communities requires a thorough understanding of their diverse cultures, customs, and religious beliefs. Employing a varied team that represents various ethnic groups and linguistic ability is also essential. It’s an act of generosity that denotes a commitment to a patient’s livelihood as well as to their health.

Raising Knowledge and Awareness: Through education and expert guidance, stigma around mental illness can be significantly reduced. Everyone is affected by mental illness differently, and there is no universally applicable diagnosis or course of therapy. Patients in every community can learn how to properly manage their mental health in the long run with the assistance of a primary care physician.

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