As I see it, there are two problems here that, while not unique to this group, may be exacerbated for them:
Many young people of color who are facing mental health or substance use challenges don’t seek therapy because of the stigma and shame associated with mental illness in their communities. When they do, they have very limited access to the help they need.
Some struggle to find a therapist who understands their cultural background or specific concerns, while others can’t find a therapist within their budget.
According to research from 2016, Black and Latinx Americans have had “persistently lower insurance coverage rates at all ages” and those who do have insurance are more likely to lose it compared to their white counterparts. Then, they have to choose between spending more money than they have or getting the mental health help they need.
1. We need to find ways to fight stigma across all racial groups.
2. As we do, we also need to make sure they have somewhere to go to get help.
Both of these are not insignificant challenges. They will not disappear overnight, and I have said many times that we need to consider a variety of ways to attack both of them as well, from using technology to assist with making treatment available, to mental healthcare reform, to continuing to share the stories of all kinds of people who have been through mental health struggles.
It’s not easy, but we are losing too many. Surely they are worth our best efforts and ideas?