A monthly newsletter from Integral Care.
A monthly newsletter from Integral Care.
A Message From Our CEO
Mental illness affects all communities. This July, Integral Care recognizes Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. In 2008, the US House of Representatives created this designation to improve access to mental health treatment and raise public awareness of mental illness. Access to quality care, stigma and stereotypes are just a few of the barriers that affect minority communities experiencing mental health issues.
For the U.S. Hispanic/Latino community, immigration and acculturation can contribute to mental health issues. High school-aged Latinas are more likely to attempt suicide than non-Latina white females and fewer than 1 in 11 Latinos with a mental health disorder contact a mental health specialist. Instead, many in this community rely on their family, community, traditional healers and faith communities for help during a mental health crisis.
Language barriers often make it difficult for Asian Americans to access mental health services. Many Asian cultures consider discussing mental health concerns taboo. Because of this, Asian Americans tend to neglect their symptoms. Integral Care is working to build collaborations with various Asian American organizations to support the mental health and well-being of these communities. Learn more in the Outreach Highlight.
Currently, only 1 in 3 African Americans who needs mental health care receives it. Historically, African Americans have experienced exploitation in the healthcare system and traditionally relied on family, community and faith for support, rather than healthcare professionals. In an effort to address these barriers, Integral Care hosts the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference every February, providing opportunities to learn about mental and physical health challenges, foster partnerships and increase access to care.
The LGBTQ community can experience mental health challenges due to prejudice and other biases. LGBTQ individuals are 2 to 3 times more likely to live with a mental health condition than non-LGBTQ individuals and 11% of transgender individuals report being denied care due to discrimination.
Integral Care incorporates the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and Health Equity’s Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards into our work to advance health equity and help eliminate healthcare disparities. These national standards support equitable and respectful care that is responsive to our community’s diverse cultures, languages, health beliefs and health practices.
In order to improve trust in the mental health care system and work towards equity in mental health care, we must support the unique health needs of our diverse community. We strive to do this with person-centered, culturally competent care.
Chief Executive Officer
Language Access Services
We respect that people in our community come from many cultures and may have limited English proficiency. Through implementation of a comprehensive Language Access Plan, introduced in the fall of 2016, we are making our services more accessible to more of our community.
Cultural and language competency is a priority for our agency. By offering services and outreach in a person’s preferred language, we break down barriers to care, raise awareness of available resources and improve the health of our whole community.
Asian Community Organizations
Following Spanish, the most commonly spoken languages in Travis County are Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean. Given this demographic information, Integral Care is working with several Asian organizations across the community – the Asian American Resource Center, the Vietnamese American Community of Austin and the Greater Austin Nepali Society – to raise awareness around mental health challenges, expand our reach and build trust within these communities.
The Asian American Resource Center‘s wide variety of programs and services – from computer classes for seniors to anti-bullying workshops for children from refugee populations – support people from all over Asia, now living in Travis County. They provide health navigators for people who need help understanding the local healthcare system or accessing social services. Navigators are trusted, bilingual members of their communities, who provide culturally sensitive guidance and support. We are working towards a partnership with the Resource Center, to train their navigators to join us at community events and health fairs. We are finding ways to work in concert with the other Asian organizations as well.
Collaborating with racial minority community organizations, we have an opportunity to improve the mental health and well-being of entire populations of Travis County residents who face cultural and linguistic barriers to care, on top of other common barriers.
July: Equity in Mental Health Care for All
June: Expanding Services for Veterans
May: Your Mental Health Toolkit
April: Time of Terror Calls for Increased Emotional Support
March: Stopping the cycle of incarceration for individuals with mental illness
February : Equity in mental healthcare for everyone
January : Improving Mental Health Through Partnership & Collaboration
December : Strength Through Community
November : Healthy Lifestyles Improve Well-Being
October : National Child Health Day
September : Strengthening Families and Communities