Silent Struggles: The Need for Mental Health Support Among Minorities

Silent Struggles: The Need for Mental Health Support Among Minorities

5 min read

Although there has been a call for inclusion in the mental health space, minority communities in the US including Blacks, Latinos, and Asians are still widely underrepresented. Whites make up 75.9% of all psychologists. In contrast, 10.8% are Hispanic/Latino, while Black psychologists make up only 5.1%

Understandably, we can put this down to the fact that the White population (75.5%) is far greater than other communities (19.1% Hispanic, 13.6% Black, 6.3% Asian). This, of course, is why they are called the minority.

But the fact that there are much fewer therapists of color compared to Whites can influence how willing patients of color are to receive treatment. For a patient of color searching for a provider, chances are whoever they’ll stumble upon will not be of their race. This can make them more reluctant to seek help.

White adults (16.6%) are more likely to seek mental health services than Black (8.6%), Hispanic (7.3%), and Asian (4.9) adults. 

But did you know that the rate of depression among Black and Hispanic populations is often equal to and even sometimes higher than among Whites? The impact of depression on their lives is also usually more severe compared to Whites. This is according to a CDC survey.

Apparently, many non-White Americans are dealing with mental health challenges in silence. Question is, why? 

Thankfully, there are now online platforms like Loop Health designed to connect these underrepresented minorities with mental health practitioners within their communities. By creating a platform targeted at people of color, it’s easier for patients to get access to a provider they believe will be able to understand their unique challenges and provide the support they need.

If you’re a provider of color or patient, leveraging such a platform can be just what you need to change your life… Or touch someone else’s.

That said, let’s face it; aside from our skin colors, we are all humans of equal rights. So, why should the campaign for mental health among people of color be a topic of discussion at all? Why do we need to focus on providing mental health for minorities? Is it that they cannot get the same help from White providers?

1.    Cultural/ethnic nuances

Did you know that some cultures have cultural stigma around mental health? In some Asian countries, mental health issues can be viewed as a sign of weakness and a threat to family reputation. A provider has to understand these cultural nuances to be able to engage with and provide empathetic support to such patients who summon the courage to seek help.

2.    Distrust

Let’s face it, the historical injustices and discriminatory practices have contributed to a longstanding distrust. Consequently, individuals may be hesitant to show themselves in their most vulnerable state to providers who do not share their cultural background.

3.    Implicit bias

There are unconscious biases that people hold regarding other ethnic groups. This can put a strain on patient-provider interactions, which may lead to misunderstanding and lack of empathy. The result? Patients quit therapy and just try to deal with their issues themselves.

4.    Socio-economic gap

It’s true that minority communities in the US often face more socioeconomic challenges. Some have also experienced systemic discrimination. These factors can contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression, increasing their need for mental health support. But as you now know, they’re less likely to seek help. But they need it.

Get Help Now

Maybe everything here resonates with you. Perhaps you’ve given up seeking mental health support because of your negative experience with providers who do not understand you. 

But your mental health issues are not getting any better. We want you to know you there’s help waiting. It’s not too late.

Now, you can get direct access to the right mental health practitioner who will understand and provide the help you need. With platforms like Loop Health, mental health care for minorities has never been more accessible.

Find a therapist now and begin your journey to a better quality of life.