Fighting Stigma Saves Money

Reducing Stigma in a Strong Investment
Rand Study: Investment in Social Marketing Campaign to Reduce Stigma and Discrimination Associated with Mental Illness Yields Positive Economic Benefits to California


Multicultural Mental Health Facts

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Culture, race, gender, ethnicity, age and sexual orientation are all factors that can influence mental health. Today we highlight recent information about our diverse communities and what Californians can do to help.

A recent UCLA study on low-income African-American and Latino U.S. residents shows that these communities are disproportionately affected by mental health issues due to various environmental stresses. These challenges include experiences of discrimination due to racial, ethnic, gender or sexual orientation, history of sexual abuse, history of violence in the community and more. Moreover, many members of diverse communities may feel heightened stigma associated with a mental health challenge and are therefore unwilling to reach out and get the help they need.

To raise awareness, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) created the Multicultural Mental Health infographic below on mental health challenges across diverse communities, the various critical issues they face and ways to get help. Visit NAMI for more information.

via Multicultural Mental Health Facts and Info – Each Mind Matters – California’s Mental Health Movement.

Multicultural Mental Health. Does mental health matter? Mental health directly and indirectly impacts all of us. 1 in every 5 adults in the U.S. experiences a mental health condition. 1 in every 5 children ages 13-18 have or will have a serious mental health condition. Mental health is part of overall health. Mental health conditions cause changes in thoughts, feelings and mood. Mental health conditions can affect many areas of your life including: home, work, school, relationships with others, sleep, appetite, decision making and may worsen other medical problems. Does mental health affect my community? Culture, race, ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation influence mental health care rates, attitudes, access and treatment. Percentage of adults with mental health conditions by race (2012): Hispanic 16.3%, White 19.3%, Black 18.6%, Asian 13.9%, Native American/Alaska Native 28.3%. At 28.3%, Native Americans & Native Alaskans have the highest rate of mental health conditions among all communities. Percentage of adults with mental health conditions by age: 21.2% ages 18-25, 19.6% ages 26-49, 15.8% ages 50+. Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual & Questioning (LGTBQ) youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth. LGTBQ individuals are 2 or more times more likely as straight individuals to have a mental health condition. What critical issues do multicultural communities face? Less access to treatment. Less likely to receive treatment. Poorer quality of care. Higher levels of stigma. Culturally insensitive health care system. Racism, bias, homophobia or discrimination in treatment settings. Language barriers. Lower rates of health insurance. Mental health service use by race (2008-2012): White Male 11.3%, White Female 21.5%, Black Male 6.6%, Black Female 10.3%, Native American & Native Alaskan Male 16.3%, Native American & Native Alaskan Female 15.1%, Asian Male 4.4%, Asian Female 5.3%, Hispanic Male 5.5%, Hispanic Female 9.2%. Disparities in care: Provider bias and lack of cultural sensitivity result in misdiagnosis and/or people dropping out of care. 11% of transgender individuals reported being denied care by mental health clinics due to bias or discrimination. Signs Someone May Need Help: Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks (e.g., crying regularly, feelings fatigued, feeling unmotivated). Trying to harm or kill oneself or making plans to do so. Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others. Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or fast breathing. Sudden or unexplained physical aches and pains such as headaches or backaches. Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships. Repeated use of drugs or alcohol. Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping or eating habits (e.g., waking up early, not eating or eating too much or throwing up). Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that can lead to failure in school or problems at work. Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends or going to classes or work. Is there hope? Recovery is possible. People with mental health conditions can recover and live full and successful lives. Cultural competence in service delivery can greatly increase access and quality for diverse communities. Ways to get help: Talk to your doctor. Get a referral to a mental health specialist. Work together to make a plan. Connect with others. Learn more about mental health. Ask how your culture will be integrated in your treatment. Visit Follow us!  NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness

RAND Study Results

Results are available at



Infographic from Each Mind Matters
Study by RAND Corporation

Unlocking the Mind #Writing101

How to get at the good stuff? Cannot even think of a better word for stuff! Yes, I can look for a word using a thesaurus, which I probably will end up doing. But, for now, I’m very simply frustrated, for my mind has either been erased or is under lock and key. I’m reminded of what happens when I cannot recall a password and try time and time again to log on. After multiple tries, I’m locked out. No longer can I access a wealth of information at my fingertips. Locked out.

Writing 101 First Assignment

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

Caveat: I must admit I edited what I wrote in the 20 minutes. Just cannot keep myself from rewriting…

Since I already started writing and making an image for this assignment before I had even started the assignment, I guess I cheated. I also thought about what I was going to write and how I was going to go about it. Once again, not the assignment. Basically I saw myself writing with interruptions. Interruptions because the dogs miss me, though they are sleeping on the floor right now. Interrupted expecting my son to ask for something, yet he now remains ensconced in the guest room playing Xbox. He asked both last night and this morning whether and when I’d move the TV into his room because my sister and her family are visiting us tonight and tomorrow. But, they won’t be here until well after dinner, so we have plenty of time.

I imagined that my writing would somehow reflect my hypomanic mind. My mind is racing, but my writing tends (for the most part) to be organized. One reason is that I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. Not for this project. This is stream of consciousness writing (I guess). Actually, I do not recall the exact meaning of stream of consciousness writing. Sounds rather hoity toity and intellectual. This exercise and fingers flying discussing the mundane feels more like what the assignment calls free writing.

Okay, first interruption, quickly ignored. Poodle Coco nudged my left arm with his nose. He wanted to be pet. No pets right now. I’m FREE WRITING. I’m being quite writerly. He circles me like a great white shark circling its prey, and then settles for kibble.

This morning I took a break – an interruption after my initial writing and before I copied and pasted the actual writing assignment up above. During that break I went to my local Starbucks to meet up with a fellow NAMI volunteer, mental health advocate and mental health provider. Starbucks was crowded and loud, so I invited her over to my house. As it’s messy and filthy, I’m actually proud of myself. Usually I’m too ashamed to have company over.

My timer just went off. 20 minutes are up.