SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#LGBTQ–According to the National
Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), racial and ethnic groups in the
U.S. are less likely to get help for mental illness, alarming guidance
given that one in five Americans have a diagnosable mental illness. With
these disparities in focus, the California Association of Marriage and
Family Therapists (CAMFT) is proud to observe National Minority Mental
Health Month to raise awareness of the importance of improving mental
health in California’s communities.
“We recognize that cultural stigmas may create barriers inhibiting
members of minority communities from seeking mental health care,” said
Patricia Ravitz, LMFT and CAMFT President. “One of our goals is to
enhance public awareness about mental illness, including in minority
communities, encouraging people to seek help when needed. Our message
is, we are here to help, and that seeking treatment is a courageous and
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA), nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable
mental illness do not seek treatment, and minorities have less access to
and availability of mental health services. SAMHSA also reports that
minorities often receive a poorer quality of mental health care.
As specialists in addiction, recovery, trauma, anxiety, depression, and
relationship issues, CAMFT encourages people with these or other mental
health issues to seek therapy.
Ravitz went on to say, “CAMFT’s therapists are trained and dedicated to
providing mental health care for all of California’s communities and
recognize the unique circumstances faced by minorities.”
NAMI also reports that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer
and questioning (LGBTQ) community experiences increased negative mental
health outcomes due to prejudice and other biases. The organization
reports that members of the LGBTQ community are three times more likely
to experience a mental health condition, and must simultaneously
confront stigma and prejudice based on their sexual orientation or
gender identity while coping with the societal bias of having a mental
Victoria Campbell, LMFT and Gender Specialist, said that LGBTQ
minorities have different needs and require specialized support. She
stated, “It’s not that they are more unwell; they do not have the
resources as readily available as some other populations, and they
experience a double stigma in seeking mental health care.”
CAMFT’s therapists are located in communities throughout California and
can be accessed by visiting www.counselingcalifornia.com.
Individuals can click on “Find a Therapist” and indicate preferences for
location, language, and mental health specialization.
In 2008 Congress designated July as Bebe Moore Campbell National
Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Campbell was an author and
co-founder of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Los Angeles.
The goal of National Minority Mental Health Month is to increase
awareness of mental illness, prevention, treatment, and research in
CounselingCalifornia.com is California’s lifeline to a Marriage and
Family Therapist who can help manage life’s challenges. At its heart,
CounselingCalifornia.com contains a comprehensive searchable directory
of thousands of marriage and family therapists (MFTs). For more
information on mental health and access to therapists who can help
manage life’s challenges, visit CounselingCalifornia.com.
About California Association of Marriage and
Family Therapists (CAMFT):
CAMFT is an independent professional organization of over 32,000 members
representing marriage and family therapists. It is dedicated to
advancing the profession, maintaining high standards of professional
ethics, upholding the qualifications for the profession and expanding
awareness of the mental health treatment provided by marriage and family
therapists for individuals, couples and families. For more information,
contact CAMFT at http://www.camft.org/IAS/COS/Default.aspx.
Scott Public Relations
Julia Natasha Watthey, MBA