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Raising Awareness About Mental Illness In Minority Communities

One in five adults in the United States experience a mental illness, regardless of culture, race or gender. But there are cultural differences when it comes to seeking treatment: African Americans use mental health services at about one-half the rate of white Americans. Asian Americans seek treatment at about one-third of the rate of white Americans. What are the barriers to seeking help?

Guest host Anita Rao talks to two guests who are working to raise awareness about mental illness in minority communities. Pooja Mehta is a minority mental health advocate and a three-time suicide survivor. She is working to raise awareness about mental illness in the South Asian community. Rwenshaun Miller is a therapist, speaker and licensed professional counselor who started a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising mental health awareness in black and brown communities.

Mehta and Miller share their personal experiences with mental illness and talk about barriers to seeking help in minority communities and potential solutions.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. For North Carolina-based mental health services, contact NAMI North Carolina at 1-800-451-9682.

Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
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