Healthcare and its Troubles for People of Color
Written by Hannah Martinez
These problems are exacerbated in communities of color. As you may know, lower socioeconomic communities face higher rates of mental and behavioral disorders. These communities are heavily populated with people of color who until recent times felt as tho mental care was taboo.
Amongst people of color, mental health issues are often dismissed as personality traits or weaknesses. For example, people with anxiety often diagnose their trauma as a side effect of "having bad nerves." With all the adversities that plague these communities (i.e racism, financial distress, lack of proper education), mental issues are often seen as just another side effect of being from those communities.
The stigmas and lack of conversation surrounding mental health can cause people of color to suppress their mental and behavioral disorders, which often has a disastrous results. When it comes to suicide, the Latinx youth has a rate of nearly double their white counterparts. Furthermore, black adolescents are twice as likely to display behavioral problems. These problems often go undiagnosed and are swept under the rug.
Due to the low income of some of these people, they are hesitant to seek care due to the extra costs associated with treatments. People of color are more likely to be uninsured. Without assistance, people cannot opt for treatment in place of household necessities. For the people of color who are fortunate enough to receive medical attention for their issues, they tend to receive a lower quality of treatment compared to the white demographic of the same age.
As more information becomes readily available, people of color must do their part to de-stigmatize mental care. Instead of dismissing mental and behavioral disorders as a weakness, communities of color must acknowledge them as real problems that have solutions. These solutions may not fix the problem, but they can increase quality of life. As people begin to seek treatments, solutions must be accessible and readily available. Strong efforts in public policy and productive conversation will revolutionize the space for people of color!