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HHS HealthBeat (July 11, 2014)

Help for mental illness

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Members of minority groups are less likely to seek care for mental illness. They might not have as much access to care, might not have as much trust that a health care provider will understand their problems, and might have to overcome cultural misperceptions about mental illness.

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. And the director of HHS’ Office of Minority Health, Dr. Nadine Gracia, says mental illness is just that – an illness – so people should not feel somehow inadequate if they have it:

“You shouldn’t blame yourself if you are feeling sad, or if you’re feeling depressed. It is common to have those feelings, and it is OK to actually ask for help.”

She also says family members, friends and others – such as church leaders – can help by being supportive.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss

Last revised: July 11, 2014