July Health Equity Link

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

u s department of health and human services - office of minority health


July 2021  |  View as a webpage

Health Equity Link Banner 2020

In this Issue

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to bring awareness to the unique struggles racial and ethnic minority populations face regarding mental illness in the United States.

This year, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) will focus on promoting tools and resources addressing the stigma surrounding mental health in racial and ethnic minority communities, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through Think Cultural Health, OMH offers a free and accredited behavioral e-learning program, Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals, which is designed to help health professionals provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS).

Behavioral health providers and education systems are recognizing the value of CLAS in advancing behavioral health equity. To advance this effort, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) collaborated with the OMH to develop the Behavioral Health Implementation Guide for the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care. The guide underlines the importance of improving access to behavioral health care, promoting quality behavioral health programs and practice, and ultimately reducing persistent disparities in mental health and substance use treatment for underserved, minority populations and communities.

Visit our National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month webpage, also available in Spanish, for downloadable materials and mental health resources.

Learn More

CDC’s Hear Her Campaign: New Maternal Health Materials

CDC’s Hear Her Campaign

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 700 women die each year in the U.S. from problems related to pregnancy or delivery complications. Launched in 2020, CDC’s Hear Her campaign seeks to raise awareness of potentially life-threatening warning signs during and after pregnancy and improve communication between patients and their healthcare providers.

Last month, the campaign released exciting new resources including posters and palm cards in multiple languages, PSAs, and website content syndication. The new materials highlight key information about urgent maternal warning signs and tips for talking about concerns with pregnant and postpartum people, their families and friends, and with healthcare providers.

To learn more or to download campaign materials and resources, visit the CDC’s Hear Her website.

Learn More

National Youth Sports Week (July 19-23)

National Youth Sports Strategy

July 19-23 is National Youth Sports Week led by the National Council on Youth Sports. It’s the perfect time to share the National Youth Sports Strategy developed by the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which aims to unite U.S. youth sports culture around a shared vision: that one day, all youth will have the opportunity, motivation, and access to play sports — regardless of their race, ethnicity, sex, ability, or ZIP code.

Based on research and best practices from the scientific community and successful youth sports programs across the U.S., it offers actionable strategies for parents, coaches, organizations, communities, and policymakers to support youth sports participation for all.

With summer youth sports activities slowly beginning to start back up, the CDC has provided a toolkit for youth sports that includes guidance, resources, and planning documents to help youth sports administrators make decisions, protect their teams and players, and communicate with their communities.

Learn More

World Hepatitis Day (July 28)

World Hepatitis Day

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day led by the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), a day to raise awareness of viral hepatitis. With one person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis-related illness, this year’s theme, “Hepatitis Can’t Wait,” will highlight the need to accelerate hepatitis elimination efforts, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to WHA, viral hepatitis affects 325 million people worldwide and claims 4,000 lives every day, more than malaria and HIV combined. Yet, all the tools to reach elimination by 2030 exist; including effective treatments and a vaccine to protect children from hepatitis B infection and an easily administered cure for hepatitis C. Elimination can be reached with concerted – and properly resourced – action.

Left untreated, viral hepatitis can lead to serious health problems, including liver cancer. It is recommended that all adults get tested as the first step in protecting their health. Talk to your doctor. It could save your life.

To learn more or to download campaign materials and resources, visit the World Hepatitis Day website.

Learn More

COVID-19 Impacts on the LGBT+ Community

COVID-19 Impacts on the LGBT+ Community

Although there has been limited data on how the pandemic has impacted the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) individuals in the U.S., findings have suggested that this group may be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to non-LGBT+ individuals.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, three-fourths of LGBT+ people (74%) say worry and stress from the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health, compared to 49% of those who are not LGBT+.

LGBT+ individuals are at greater risk of worse COVID-19 outcomes due to higher rates of comorbidities; working in highly affected industries such as health care and the food industry; living on average on lower incomes than non-LGBT+ people; experiencing stigma and discrimination related to sexual orientation/gender identity, including in accessing health care; and, for transgender individuals, being less likely to have health coverage.

For these reasons, it is important LGBT+ people protect their physical and emotional wellbeing. Visit Healthcare.gov for information about health care coverage options for same-sex couples and transgender people. To assist LGBT+ people with enrolling in health coverage, behavioral health providers can download SAMHSA’s Affordable Care Act Enrollment Assistance for LGBT+ Communities.

Knowledge Center

knowledge center see our newest acquisitions

In observance of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, the OMH Knowledge Center online catalog is featuring recent publications highlighting methods used for mental and behavioral health treatment services for minority populations. To review recent literature in support of cultural competence training and mental health, search the online catalog here.

Learn More

scd 2019