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July is National Minority Mental Health Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Month.

Dr. Delvena Thomas, a board certified psychiatrist, visited ABC7 to talk about the issue of minorities and mental health.

According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health problems in general. Prevalence of mental illness for racial and ethnic minorities is about the same as for whites but minorities have less access to mental health services and minorities in treatment often receive poorer quality of mental health care.

What are some types of mental illness?
-Serious types such as schizophrenia, severe forms of bipolar
-Depressive & anxiety illnesses
-Personality disorders
-Addiction diseases

Four signs “something is wrong” when mental illness is a factor.

1. Mood changes.

2. Changes in sleeping patterns.
3. Changes in behavior-pulling away, isolation.
4. Missing days from school or work.

Some mental health issues can be prevented. How?
-Exercise, mindful movements such as tai chi, yoga
-Start a walking program – pedometers, fit bit
-Better nutrition
-Learn deep breathing

-Meditate, not medicate! Start your day with meditation for ten minutes
-Diet – eliminate soda! It increases anxiety and depletes vitamins and minerals from your diet.
-Reduce sugar and processed food
-Manage finances
-Rid clutter, be more organized
-Make healthy decisions as much as possible. A lot of what we do to ruin our life balance is what can cause some our daily stress and anxiety, sadness.

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