On this day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, a voice for individuals experiencing prejudices and discrimination. We still have a long way to go for equality in health care and mental health care amongst different races and ethnicities. The U.S. Surgeon General issued a supplement report on mental health, focused on issues of culture, race and ethnicity and – not surprisingly – found:
- Minorities have less access to, and availability of, mental health services.
- Minorities are less likely to receive needed mental health services.
- Minorities in treatment often receive a poorer quality of mental health care.
- Minorities are underrepresented in mental health research.
Today, on Martin Luther King Day, we shine a light on the prejudices and discrimination against which Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently fought. This discrimination still runs deep, especially for individuals experiencing mental health issues – brain disorders that are no one’s fault. Click here for The Heart Speaks – a project of Step Up’s Creative Writing group, lead by volunteer and Board member Phil Glosserman, illustrating the importance of busting stigma and the difference empowerment can make.