Make an Appointment: [email protected] | (630) 995-3193

  • banner image

    A Look #BeyondTheNumbers

    By: Yessica Ocampo, MA

    July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month…Inner Courage Counseling strives to acknowledge and respect all racial and ethnic identities and recognizes language matters. The term ‘minority‘ will be replaced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).  Communities of Color, including Blacks and Indigenous peoples, face disproportionate injustices due to systematic barriers and historical adversity. BIPOC Mental Health Month sheds light on many of the significant health discrepancies in the United States. For example, differences in average life expectancy, quality of life, rates of disability, the seriousness of illness, and access to care reflect these injustices.  The roots of disparities due to systemic racism are vast and far-reaching. The disparities felt by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and underrepresented communities, including the LGTBQ+ community, are palpable. The American Psychiatric Association outlines the results of these disparities to include higher rates of BIPOC children needing mental health services referred to juvenile justice systems instead of mental health care and a higher burden of individuals with disabilities due to mental illness than their white counterparts (APA, 2017).

    Mental Health America (MHA), a community-based nonprofit, is committed to going Beyond the Numbers to aid others in learning about the nuances and increasing awareness of BIPOC mental health.  #BeyondTheNumbers provides data, historical context, barriers to well-being, cultural beliefs, strengths and resiliency factors, and calls to action for the following BIPOC populations:

    • American Indian/Alaska Native
    • Arab/Middle Eastern/Muslim/South Asian
    • Asian/Pacific
    • Black/African American
    • Latinx/Hispanic
    • Multiracial


    Take a look #BeyondTheNumbers at some recent data shared by MHA.

    There are 3.7 million individuals in the U.S. who solely identify as American Indian/Alaska Natives, with an additional 5.9 million identifying as a combination of American Indian/ Alaska Native and another race. It is estimated that at least 18.7% of American Indian/Alaska Natives have experienced a mental health condition within the past year (MHA, 2022).

    The Arab/Middle Eastern/Muslim/South Asian (AMEMSA) cultural group makes up an estimated 10+ million Americans and consists of heritages originating from more than 30 countries and territories throughout South and West Asia, as well as North Africa. Around 1 in 5 South Asian Americans will experience an anxiety or mood disorder in their lifetime (MHA, 2022).

    It is estimated that there are approximately 22.9 million Asian/Pacific Americans living in the U.S., including those with a combination of Asian Pacific Heritage and another race. Of this population, 2.9 million are living with mental health conditions. For this data, the Asian/Pacific heritage group consists of those with heritage originating from East Asia and the Pacific Islands, including Native Hawaiians (MHA, 2022).

    Nearly 45 million people in the U.S. identify as Black, with at least 3.1 million identifying as a combination of Black and another race. More than 7 million Black and African American individuals in the U.S. live with mental health conditions.

    Over 61 million Latinx/Hispanic individuals live in the U.S, and nearly 10 million are living with mental health conditions. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story (MHA, 2022).

    Individuals with multiracial heritage are among the fastest-growing groups in the U.S. Of individuals with mental health conditions, 25% identify as two or more races. The term “multiracial” encompasses a wide variety of identities. These communities have varying experiences depending on each individual’s unique ethnic characteristics and closeness to each culture they are a part of. For this data, the “multiracial” cultural group will include unique experiences and perspectives of those who do not solely identify with one race” (MHA, 2022).


    MHA’s tips on talking to your provider about your mental health.


    • Advocate for yourself.
    • Share your needs and desires with your providers.
    • Ask for providers who are culturally responsive and have experience working with individuals of similar identities to you.
    • Ask your provider to document everything discussed, including any denials of treatments you want.
    • Seek combinations of mental health care that are right for your unique needs.


    • Avoid mental health care due to shame.
    • Feel obligated to choose a Western model of mental health care.
    • Exclusively use one type of mental health care without exploring all options that feel right to you.

    Illinois Helplines
    Illinois Call4Calm Text Line
    If you or a loved one are struggling with stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic and need emotional support, text TALK to 552020 for English or HABLAR for Spanish (Message and Data Rates May Apply. See Terms & Conditions of Use). This service is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People seeking assistance will remain anonymous and will provide only their first name and zip code, which enables the service to link you to a counselor in your area who is knowledgeable about available local resources.

    Illinois Warm Line – Call 866-359-7953
    If you or one of you family members has mental health and/or substance use challenges and would like to receive support by phone, call the Illinois Warm Line at 866-359-7953. Wellness Support Specialists are professionals who have experienced mental health and/or substance use recovery in their own lives. They are trained in recovery support, mentoring, and advocacy and are ready to listen and support you. The Warm Line is not a crisis hotline, but is a source of support as you recover or help a family member
    to recover. Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. except holidays

    CARES Line (24 hour) – Call: (800) 345-9049 TTY: (773) 523-4504
    If your child is a risk to themselves or others, having a mental health crisis, or if you would like a referral to services for children, youth, and families, call the 24 hour Crisis and Referral Entry Services (CARES) line to talk to a mental health professional.

    Illinois Helpline for Opioids & Other Substances – Call 1-833-2FINDHELP
    If you or someone you know is suffering from an opioid use disorder or other substance-use disorders, call the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at 1-833-2FINDHELP to speak with a trained professional for support and advice or to be directed to customized resources or visit

    We Know The Feeling (Problem Gambling) – 1-800-GAMBLER, text ILGAMB TO 53342
    If you or someone you know is suffering from gambling disorder, call 1.800.GAMBLER, text ILGAMB TO 53342, or visit to be connected to resources and treatment programs.

    National Helplines
    Need Immediate Help In A Crisis?
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

    If you or someone you know is in crisis—whether they are considering suicide or not—please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline connects you with a crisis center in the Lifeline network closest to your location. Your call will be answered by a trained crisis worker who will listen empathetically and without judgment. The crisis worker will work to ensure that you feel safe and help identify options and information about mental health services in your area. Your call is confidential and free.

    Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741
    Connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

    National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
    Trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to provide confidential support to anyone experiencing domestic violence or seeking resources and information. Help is available in Spanish and other languages.

    National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
    Connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area that offers access to a range of free services. Crisis chat support is available at Online Hotline. Free help, 24/7.

    SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – 1-800-622-4357 (HELP)
    Free and confidential treatment referral and information service available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

    National Runaway Safeline – 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or text: 66008
    This 24-hour 7 day a week national Safeline is for youth at risk of running away or already have and are looking for help.

    Veteran’s Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255 or Text: 838255
    To reach caring, qualified responders within the Department of Veterans Affairs connect with the Veterans Crisis Line. Many of them are Veterans themselves. This free support is confidential, available 24/7, and serves all veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve, and their families and friends. Call 1-800-273-8255 or Text: 838255, Support for deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889
    Online Chat is Available:

    Request an Appointment with Yessica Today

    American Psychiatric Association. (2017). Mental health disparities: Diverse populations –
    Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from

    Counseling Today. (2022, February 7). The historical roots of racial disparities in the Mental Health

    System. Counseling Today. Retrieved June 30, 2022, from

    Help is here: Talk to someone. IDHS. (2022). Retrieved July 1, 2022, from
    July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

    (MHTTC) Network. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from

    NAMI Helpline. NAMI. (2022). Retrieved July 1, 2022, from