"National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is observed each July to bring awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States.
Racial and ethnic minorities often suffer from poor mental health outcomes due to multiple factors, including lack of access to quality mental health care services, cultural stigma surrounding mental health care, discrimination, and overall lack of awareness about mental health." - From the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Minority Health
The Colorado State Employee Assistance Program is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion practices and to help celebrate this month, we wanted to share some resources with you below. The following link contains a reading list organized into three sections: factsheets and resources for consumers, reports for mental health providers, policy makers, and other professionals, and peer-reviewed journal articles -- all geared toward better understanding mental health supports for racial and ethnic minority communities, specifically for individuals with limited English proficiencies: Click the link to view the Reading List for Better Mental Health Through Better Understanding. In addition to that, click on the following link to learn why diversity among mental health providers is important.
We also wanted to highlight some of the work that the Colorado Behavioral Health Administration is managing:
I Matter provides up to six free therapy sessions for youth in Colorado and reimburses participating licensed therapists. Colorado House Bill 21-1258 established I Matter in 2021 to provide access to mental health and substance use disorder services for youth, and to address needs that may have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. I Matter is open to youth 18 years of age or younger, or 21 years of age or younger if receiving special education services.
Here are some resources you may find helpful to better understand ways you can stay healthy or help a friend or family member with a mental health or substance use concern.
The I Matter program can connect youth or parents of youth with a therapist. Visit I Matter's Homepage to begin the process. If you’re 11 or younger, your parent or guardian must visit the website with you.