So Many Barriers, So Little Time: BIPOC Mental Health Resources Found Here

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The Centers for Disease Control’s most recent survey found that 4 in 10 teenagers felt constant sadness or hopelessness. LGBTQIA+, women, and racial minorities reported worse outcomes in their mental health when compared to heterosexual, male, or white peers. 

BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) have historically faced challenges in accessing mental health care. In a 2017 paper published in Pediatrics, up to 33% of children under the age of 18 experience poverty. According to the Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support (ICSPS), poverty is traumatic in and of itself and can cause other distressing events to occur, such as:

  • Living in unsafe communities

  • Higher likelihood of experiencing violent incidents

  • Abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, or negligence)   

  • Housing and food insecurity 

Additionally, childhood poverty can affect brain development and make it more challenging to improve one’s socioeconomic status later in life.

Economic Hardship and Cultural Differences

The average cost of a therapy session can be between $100-$200, though fees can be higher. Additionally, BIPOC often live in underserved areas and face challenges when looking for a therapist that can provide culturally appropriate care. 

The benchmarks for diagnosing several mental health issues are also often based on white, male patients, which may cause therapists to miss signs of health issues affecting BIPOC or people coming from working-class backgrounds.

Lack of health insurance can exacerbate the problem as well. Even people with insurance may also face complications. Finding a therapist isn’t strictly about money or location; getting along with them is equally important, and their preferred counselor may not work with their insurance. 

Many BIPOC are also immigrants and may come from cultures where mental health care isn’t talked about or emphasized. This can cause potential patients to feel guilt or shame when seeking care, and may even increase friction between patients and members of their family. 

Where to Find Mental Health Solutions and Resources

Navigating the issues affecting BIPOC who seek mental health care is complex. Systemic problems plague the health care sector, and these affect vulnerable populations most. Thankfully, many organizations, educational institutions, government task force committees, and individuals have come up with solutions and resources specifically tailored to people of color.

  • WOC Therapy. This resource focuses on culturally appropriate services for women of color. It offers telehealth services and is committed to remaining accessible. 

  • Ayana Therapy. This service matches patients of color with competent therapists who are sensitive to their needs and strives to decrease stigma around mental healthcare. 

  • Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund. This fund was pioneered by writer Sonia Weiser to help Black journalists pay for therapy. It was a response to the need for counseling after reporting on traumatic events that personally affect journalists while on the job.

  • Latinx Therapy is a resource for Latinx potential patients and mental health professionals. They also offer a podcast where they discuss issues affecting the Latinx community. (Not to be confused with Therapy for Latinx, which is also great). 

  • Nalgona Positivity Pride (NPP) is a resource for Black, Latinx, and communities of color dealing with eating disorders. They offer talks, virtual coworking sessions, and courses specifically tailored to these communities and their needs.

  • Mental Health America offers a list of support groups that are usually free. Some are led by peers and others are led by professionals. 

  • BIPOC Student Fund is for future mental health professionals who want to go into creative arts therapies. This scholarship can help future mental health professionals from marginalized backgrounds pay for expenses related to their education so they can alleviate some of the financial burden of their programs.

Additionally, many therapists and counselors offer general advice that can help BIPOC in a general way until they’re able to seek individual care or group/family therapy. Some helpful accounts include:

  • Therapy for Women. Therapist Amanda E. White offers tips and online resources tailored to the needs of women. She also discusses sobriety.

  • Nedra Tawwab is a therapist who focuses on helping people build healthier boundaries and relationships. 

  • Well.Guide. Israa Nasir provides information to help you build healthier relationships and offers quick online resources. 

  • Yolanda Rentería’s work focuses on trauma-informed ways to break generational cycles.

  • Curly Therapist Sana Powell provides resources for people looking to build healthy boundaries.   

  • Therapy in a Nutshell. Emma McAdam makes videos that offer general advice about many aspects of therapy, such as motivation, dealing with mental blocks, and how to find a therapist you can afford. 

In other positive news, more and more universities and counseling programs are including cultural humility courses and providing education to help therapists be better prepared to help clients with issues specific to BIPOC. 

Disclaimer: YouTube and social media channels are there to provide knowledge of general concepts and are not a substitute for medical care and don’t constitute a doctor-patient relationship. This article does not constitute medical advice. 

Tags: BIPOC, Mental Health, wellness

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Written By

Ingrid Cruz

Ingrid Cruz is a freelance writer, certified coffee-lover and loves a good joke. She's been published in The Lily, Business Insider, and Stylecaster. See Full Bio

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