Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) often are the least likely of the racial and ethnic groups to seek mental health care. Research indicates that they do not seek mental health services due to risk factors like lack of insurance, not knowing where to find appropriate services, cultural norms, language barriers, and negative attitudes towards seeking help. Even as one of the fastest growing minority populations, AANHPIs are a population often overlooked in national discussions of mental health, especially the mental health of AANHPI boys and men.In recognition of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, SAMHSA has developed two briefs on the behavioral health of AANHPI boys and young men:
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In 2013, there were more than 41,000 deaths as a result of suicide in the U.S. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death, claiming more lives each year than death due to motor vehicle crashes. Especially alarming, it is the second leading cause of death for young people age 10 to 24.
Bebe Moore Campbell was an American hero. She worked tirelessly to raise awareness about mental health in communities of color and led programs that encouraged people in these communities to talk with their doctor about their mental health. Ms. Campbell understood that there is no health without mental health. At SAMHSA, we know how true this is.
Discrimination exacerbates health and health care disparities for communities of color. Inequity results in lack of access to quality, affordable care and can lead to prolonged and unnecessary illness. This is especially true for people with a mental illness or substance use disorder. During July, National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, we shine a light on the discrimination that minorities often experience when living with a mental health condition, and learn how we can prevent it.Even as conversations about behavioral health become more common in our country, negative perceptions about mental illness and addiction continue to be a major barrier to seeking care, especially in minority communities.