Mental Health and Communities of Color
Communities across the United States face a chronic epidemic of untreated mental health disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five American adults lives with a diagnosable mental health disorder in any given year; however, only 43 percent of those with mental health disorders receive treatment in any given year.1 In general, the prevalence rates of most mental health disorders are similar across racial and ethnic groups. At the same time, studies of rates of self-related exposure to childhood adversity indicate that
members of underrepresented minority groups are more likely to have experienced adversity during childhood — and there is expanding recognition that early exposure to traumatic experiences is itself a risk factor for later health problems, including anxiety and depression. Even in studies that reveal similar prevalence rates of mental health disorders across racial and ethnic groups, disparities exist with respect to diagnoses and treatment.