BIPOC Mental Health Month
July was National BIPOC Mental Health Month. While the month has passed, what should remain is a commitment to ensure you receive the mental health care that will help you face the challenges common to Black and Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC).
BIPOC individuals experience a wide range of unique issues that can tax their minds, hearts and spirit. From discrimination to inequity and daily microaggressions, the BIPOC community has sustained generational trauma throughout the centuries.
Barriers to Mental Health Therapy for BIPOC Community Members
For people of all ethnicities, there has traditionally been a stigma attached to mental health and therapy, but this is particularly true for those in the BIPOC community. For varying reasons, mental illness is considered a taboo in a majority of BIPOC communities. Issues such as depression, sadness and anxiety are seen as weaknesses, flaws, something to be kept secret, or “white people shit.”
Sadly, while many BIPOC folx are at risk of developing a serious mental health crisis, they are far less likely to seek help and treatment because of the stigma involved.
Another barrier to mental healthcare is a lack of access to resources. Some in the BIPOC community find it difficult to obtain medical insurance that would cover the cost of therapy. Others may deal with transportation issues. And some communities are simply unaware of the resources that are available to them, and so they won’t utilize them.
And finally, many in the BIPOC community have difficulty finding a therapist who looks like them and understands their culture and heritage. This can make it hard for them to feel comfortable enough to open up and share their experiences and pain.
Making Mental Health a Priority 365
More is being done on the part of clinicians and mental health professionals to make treatment more readily available and culturally sensitive to those in the BIPOC community. I am encouraged by the increased representation of Black women who have been vocal about going to therapy, along with popular TV shows incorporating this. EG. Molly from Insecure, Viola Davis, Michelle Obama, Simone Biles, and Naomi Osaka. Along with Black therapists like Uzo Aduba in the HBO show, In Treatment, or Niecy Nash in the Netflix show, Never Have I Ever. Representation matters when it comes to reducing the stigma.
Please make the commitment to reach out to those who want to help so you can better your life and that of your family throughout the entire year. #365 #Blackmindsmatter #BIPOCMentalHealth