Breaking Barriers: Mental Health Awareness


In America, mental health concerns affect millions of individuals and communities nationwide—yet many are suffering in silence. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so we want to shed light on this important topic, including the symptoms to watch for and how you can seek help for yourself and your loved ones. 

Numbers to Know

If you are suffering from mental illness, you’re not alone.

Breaking It Down

Minorities and Mental Health

  • Black/African American Community: Despite 21% of Black Americans acknowledging mental illness, only 39% seek mental health services. 
  • Hispanic & Latino US Community: With close to 22% admitting mental illness, a mere 36% seek help. 
  • Asian American/Pacific Islander Community: More than 15% endure mental illness, which is more than 2.9 million individuals.
  • Native/Indigenous American Community: More than 19% of this community (827,000 people) has reported having mental illness in a year’s time.

Spotting Symptoms and Seeking Support

Early recognition of mental health symptoms can make a world of difference. Here are some symptoms that may indicate it's time to seek help: 

  • Persistent sadness: Feeling down or hopeless most of the time, lasting for weeks or months.
  • Excessive worry: Constantly feeling anxious, fearful, or worried about various aspects of life.
  • Shifts in sleep patterns: Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much.
  • Changes in appetite or weight: Significant changes in eating habits, such as overeating or a loss of appetite.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Irritability or mood swings: Easily getting irritated, angry, or experiencing frequent mood swings.
  • Physical symptoms: Unexplained ailments like headaches, digestive issues, or chronic pain without a clear medical cause.
  • Inability to cope: Feeling overwhelmed by routine tasks or unable to manage daily responsibilities.

Community Resources for Mental Health

You don’t have to struggle in silence. There are many mental health resources in the community that can help both you and your loved ones.

  • Therapy and counseling: Professional therapy provides a safe space to explore and address mental health challenges. Check with your health care provider for one-on-one or group therapy options to fit your needs and budget. 
  • Support groups: Joining support groups can offer a sense of belonging and understanding. Look for groups that cater to your specific identity and experiences.
  • Local resources: Community centers, religious organizations, and advocacy groups often provide mental health resources and support services tailored to specific populations.
  • Hotlines and helplines: Various hotlines offer confidential support and guidance, including those specializing in specific minority groups or languages.
  • Online resources: Numerous online platforms offer mental health resources, forums, and virtual support groups accessible from the comfort of your home.

By promptly identifying symptoms and reaching out for help, you can begin your journey toward achieving better mental and emotional wellbeing. Whether it's seeking therapy, reaching out to trusted friends and family, or exploring self-care practices, each action you take empowers you on your journey toward greater overall wellness.