Community Health Workers are remarkable not just for their selflessness and assistance to those in their care but in that they are from the communities they serve. This grants them cultural and social knowledge that can significantly improve the quality of one’s healthcare journey.
July is minority behavioral health awareness month, and the Illinois Public Health Association is honoring it by calling attention to the importance of Community Health Workers in behavioral health care and resources for minority communities. The behavioral healthcare of minority populations is strained due to the health disparities amongst under-served people. By raising awareness of the importance of behavioral health among minorities, the health disparities that prevent certain groups from receiving quality care can be mended. CHWs can play a prominent role in bridging that gap through their role as links between the communities they serve and the health service professionals.
The behavioral health disparity refers to the gap between individuals who need behavioral health care and those who receive it. This disparity is emphasized within minority populations. In the US, ethnic and racial minorities are less likely to receive behavioral health treatment than white people. Various societal factors have led to African American, Asian, and Latinx peoples not seeking out and undergoing treatment for behavioral health conditions. CHWs can assist with the availability of behavioral health care for minorities in need. CHWs can also build community trust between patients and health care practitioners.
Contact CHWs in your community to learn more about how they can assist with finding behavioral health care and treatment plans.