Nearly one in five American adults will deal with a mental health issue in a given year. While research and advocacy have come a long way when it comes to mental health, there’s still one area that is highly under-addressed: How mental illness affects people of color.
There has been some progress in recent years when it comes to giving minority mental health a public platform. Celebrities like Kerry Washington, Demi Lovato and Wayne Brady have shared their own experiences with mental health issues and stressed the importance of seeking treatment. New York Jets player Brandon Marshall is also generating awareness through his mental health initiative Project 375, with plans to promote the project as the NFL season starts this fall.
Unfortunately, this new study is just one example of a barrier people of color face when it comes to mental health. We gathered just a few staggering statistics that put it all into perspective. Check them out below:
The percentage of Asian American adults who sought mental health treatment in 2010. Nearly 18 percent of the general population nationwide reached out for services in the same year.
The percent increase in the suicides of Native American and Alaska Native women from 1999 to 2014. The rate of suicide among Native American and Alaska Native women is approximately nine of every 100,000 people, up from five per every 100,000 people.
The percent of non-Hispanic black individuals with depression who had a major depressive episode in 2012. Despite the fact that this figure represents the majority of black individuals with depression, only a small percentage see a mental health professional to help manage their condition.
Remember: Mental illness is not a character flaw. It’s not something a person can just simply “get over.” It’s not a person’s fault. Mental health issues can be anything from dealing with particularly stressful periods to something more serious like depression or schizophrenia. If you’re struggling with your mental health, look into treatment options― because everyone should be able to live a happy and healthy life.