Terri K. Lankford, LPCS
Journal Prompts for BIPOC Awareness Month
July is BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month, originally founded by Bebe Moore
Campbell to raise awareness about treatment barriers in the BIPOC community. Though Campbell was specifically responding to treatment barriers she witnessed her daughter encounter while trying to access care, this lack of access to mental health care isn’t uncommon; studies show that BIPOC individuals are less likely to have access to, receive, or complete mental health care. Why is that?
Treatment barriers are the main cause of individuals not receiving the care they need. A treatment barrier is any condition or factor that stands in the way of an individual receiving care. In the mental health field, there are multiple treatment barriers that can prevent an individual from even seeking out care, let alone receiving it. Across American communities, the percent of individuals who do not receive care due to barriers ranges from 44% to 70%.
What are some treatment barriers you may be facing? Use the journal prompts below to assess your holistic wellness as well as any barriers you may have to mental health treatment!
What is food like in your family? Does your cultural context influence the type of food you commonly eat?
What has been your experience with the traditional medical model? Have you had mostly positive relationships with medical staff, or negative ones?
What is your financial situation like? If you needed mental health support, do you know of a mental health facility that would fit in your budget? If not, how can you find one?
What are your cultural beliefs about help-seeking behavior? For example, is mental health therapy a common practice in your family, or is it seen as shameful or unnecessary? How do your cultural beliefs enable or prevent you from seeking care?
What is your belief about community resources as being an answer to mental health concerns, such as using the Church or your friend group instead of a mental health clinician?
Do you commonly experience language barriers - for example, did you have language barriers in school, or when you go out to public places?
What are some things getting in the way of you seeking mental health treatment - for example, do you have transportation, time in your schedule, and a nearby mental health facility?
How much does representation matter to you - as in, would you feel comfortable seeing a mental health therapist outside of your cultural background?
Have you received mental health help before? What was the experience like for you? If you shared with your family or friends your experience seeking treatment, what was their response?
What, specifically, is holding you back from seeking mental health services?
Hopefully, these journal prompts help you to assess any treatment barriers in your own life! At Rise and Thrive Counseling, we believe everyone deserves culturally-competent, affirming, accessible care. We have clinicians that understand you and know how hard it can be to take that first step of seeking out mental health care. We’ve made the process simple - just reach out today to be paired with a clinician that can meet your needs. We look forward to hearing from you!