Throughout the last century, the United States has become increasingly diverse and the health disparities affecting minority groups have become more and more prevalent. By 2044, more than half of all Americans are projected to belong to a minority group. While health indicators like life expectancy have improved for the majority of Americans, minorities experience disproportionate levels of preventable disease, death and disability compared to non-minorities.
Health disparity is a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic and/or environmental disadvantage. To rectify and achieve a goal of health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health care disparities. One way to do this is continuing to increase available resources to minority communities in need.
An often overlooked aspect of this includes the mental well-being of minority communities. Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. That being said, background and identity can make access to mental health help and treatment difficult. In these communities access to care, cultural stigma and lower quality care are all issues that plague them.
A large component of minority mental health is the trauma that comes with Racism. Trauma is prominently mentioned as the reason that people experience serious mental health conditions today.
The amount of stress these communities deal with on a daily basis can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and other mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Without those resources available to those communities and the cultural stigma of seeking help, many have poor health outcomes due to mental health.
By increasing support and resources to those communities in need, we can begin to help heal and lead those communities to a healthy life!