July is Minority Mental Awareness Health Month. It's a critical time to help educate the public about how culture, race and background can impact mental health, including access to care for the veteran and military family communities.
The fact is anyone can experience mental health conditions, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. However, within our society, culture, values, background and identity can all affect how we experience and perceive mental health care, which will impact how effective mental health management is addressed. Here are some important facts and statistics:
These facts are important because the disparities in accessing quality mental health care cannot and should not be ignored. Cultural stigma, socioeconomic factors, structural barriers, bias and discrimination does impact an individual's ability to access the quality care they deserve.
Cultural competence among mental health care providers is also essential in helping receiving care. Conscious or unconscious bias or lack of cultural competence can result in misdiagnosis, inadequate treatment and mistrust. Cultural competence matters in mental health care, and if you don’t feel like you are able to connect with your current service provider, you have the right to change them.
The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals takes our mission of providing high-quality behavioral health care very seriously. Not only are half our staff members veterans, but our clinicians go through regular cultural competence training to ensure they are providing the most fair, equitable and unbiased treatment possible to our veterans, active duty service members and military families.
If you are in need of services, please call our office to schedule an appointment at 240-847-7500. We are here for you!