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 hearts and minds. 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 and flaws.
Sadly, while many BIPOC 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 shares 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. 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.