July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

In recognition of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to continue building awareness of the importance of mental health and supports in every community.

Minority Mental Health Month: Lifting the Burden of Disparities

SAMHSA / Health Disparities

By: J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health; Director, Office of Minority Health; Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., Administrator, SAMHSA

SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity is working across racial and ethnic minority communities to facilitate the availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate services and the development of a more diverse and sensitive workforce of treatment and service providers. An example of such an initiative is the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health (HBCU-CFE), which engages HBCUs in developing strategies to promote behavioral health workforce development and enhance behavioral health curricula for students.  SAMHSA also supports the Minority Fellowship Program, which is designed to increase the number of minority professionals in the behavioral health workforce.

Ultimately, an understanding of culture combined with a provision of health care services respectful of the beliefs, practices and needs of diverse patients can help improve social inclusion and close the gap on disparities affecting persons experiencing mental or substance use disorders.  We cannot do this work alone.  During National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, we challenge you to take part in this important conversation and to start conversations in your own community.

Stay connected throughout National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by following and using #MMHM2015.  Share a photo, video or story with the hashtag #MMHM2015 to let others know how you are getting involved.

Learn more about SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity and read SAMHSA’s new Behavioral Health Equity Barometerto find out more about key behavioral health indicators among diverse populations.  Visit our website