The mental healthcare system in the United States has failed Black people and people of color. It’s failing everyone who lacks privilege, and it’s failing those who don’t know to seek help for their mental health challenges.
The current system provides access to people of a certain socio-economic background – well to-do, employed and fully insured. This typically doesn’t include large populations of Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC), though they experience mental health disorder rates similar to white people. Disparities that exist in services lead people of color to receive poorer quality of care and lack access to culturally competent care.
When you combine these decades-long systemic injustices, socioeconomic disparities, extremely limited access to affordable care, as well as communities that don’t have the resources to provide safe spaces, it’s not a hill to climb but a mountain. This doesn’t even consider finding a provider that looks like you, who can understand what you’re going through or where you’re coming from. These challenges make it next to impossible for someone to find affordable, accessible mental health care. That ‘impossible’ feeling leaves people less likely to seek treatment, less likely to find or access high quality care, and less likely to finish treatment. In fact, only one-in-three Black people who need mental health care receive it.
Before we fix these problems, we need to first acknowledge and address the issues that hold back BIPOC patients from seeking and receiving mental health care.
Read more at MedCityNews.com.