Learn the common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents.
Learn more about common mental health conditions that affect millions.
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Our culture, beliefs, sexual identity, values, race and language all affect how we perceive and experience mental health conditions. In fact, cultural differences can influence what treatments, coping mechanisms and supports work for us. It is therefore essential for culture and identity to be a part of the conversation as we discuss both mental health and mental health care.
A person must feel comfortable and understood by their mental health professional for a therapeutic relationship to be effective. This includes feeling their mental health professional understands their identity and being comfortable addressing it openly. When a mental health professional understands the role that cultural differences play in the diagnosis of a condition, and incorporates cultural needs and differences into a person’s care, it significantly improves outcomes. Mental health care must be tailored to the individual — to their identity, culture and experience.
As an individual or caregiver, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself or the needs of your loved one. While it’s not always possible, finding the right provider is essential to ensure the dimensions of culture and language do not get in the way of healing or recovery. Instead, those shared community values and experiences, along with dimensions of faith and spirituality, resiliency, key relationships, family bonds and pride in where you came from — your culture — becomes a source of strength and support.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) populations have the lowest help-seeking rate of any racial/ethnic group, with less than a quarter of AAPI adults with a mental illness receiving treatment. This is due to the many systemic barriers to accessing mental health care and quality treatment.
While the experience of being Black in America varies tremendously, there are shared cultural factors that play a role in supporting well-being, resiliency and healing. However, another part of this shared experience is facing racism, discrimination and inequity that can significantly affect a person’s mental health.
Hispanic/Latinx communities show similar vulnerability to mental illness as the general population, but they face disparities in both access to and quality of treatment. This inequality puts these communities at a higher risk for more severe and persistent forms of mental health conditions.
Although there is a huge amount of diversity among Indigenous communities in the U.S., members of these groups share many of the same risk factors for mental health conditions, including economic and political marginalization, education disparities, discrimination and mental health challenges rooted in a long history of trauma.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersexed (LGBTQI) community represents a diverse range of identities and expressions of gender and sexual orientation. For those who identify as LGBTQI, it’s important to recognize how your experience of sexual orientation and gender identity relates to your mental health.
For the 61 million Americans who live with a disability, physical care is often seen as the first priority — but when a disability impacts a person’s quality of life, it can have a direct effect on all aspects of their well-being, including putting a person at risk for a mental health condition.
Call the NAMI Helpline at
text "NAMI" to 741741