Specific behavioral health challenges faced by and resources for marginalized communities
Marginalized communities, including people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals, face disproportionately high rates of suicide, in addition to increased barriers to accessing culturally competent and trauma-informed mental health treatment and services.
Free and confidential resources for these populations are listed below.
Black and Indigenous Communities and Communities of Color
Black and Latinx Individuals
– Dee Dee’s Cry is an organization in Roxbury that provides support and resources for people of color who are dealing with mental health challenges, including a support group for survivors of suicide attempts.
– How to cope with racial trauma or be a better ally; more detailed information here
– Therapy For Black Girls provides podcasts, a blog, and other mental health resources for Black women and girls
– The Steve Fund focuses on the mental and emotional well-being of young people of color. Their ‘Resources’ tab on their website has links to blog posts, a podcast, crisis text line, and webinars
– This page contains links to Spanish Language mental health screening tools, and other infographics about mental health
Asian American & Pacific Islander Individuals
– Asian American Health Initiative mental health resources
– Asian Women for Health: a community-based network dedicated to advancing Asian women’s health
– Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence: 24 hour multilingual helpline and resources for escaping domestic violence
Native American/Tribal Populations
– Native communities experience higher rates of suicide than any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S., especially Native American youth, with a suicide rate 2.5 times higher than the national average.
– We R Native provides resources and support to Native Americans who are struggling with their mental health, including stories from individuals with lived experiences, tools to develop resilience in mental health, and advice columns.
– StrongHearts Native Helpline is a 24/7 safe and confidential helpline for Native Americans, offering culturally-appropriate assistance for those in need.
– This webinar from the National Indian Health Board is designed for community members and Tribal behavioral health professionals to provide resources and suggestions on how to deal with the heightened risk of suicide posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
– This infosheet from the Center for American Indian Health provides tips and suggestions for mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
– The Trans Lifeline provides trans peer support for when in crisis or when you just need someone to talk to. It is a fully anonymous and confidential hotline that offers its services 24/7.
– The It Gets Better Project is an organization that offers connections for the LGBTQ+ population by uplifting and empowering through sharing stories and offering guidance. Their website offers many personal testimonies about mental health struggles and how fellow LGBTQ+ community members have overcome hardships in their lives.
– The Sydney Borum, Jr. Health Center at Fenway Health provides gender affirming healthcare, access to HIV medication, and safe, non-judgemental primary and behavioral health care for young people ages 12–29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else. No one is turned away.
– The Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth (BAGLY) is a youth-led, adult-supported organization with a clinic, support group, and other resources
People behind bars
– Individuals with mental and behavioral health conditions are vastly overrepresented in the criminal punishment system. People with mental and behavioral conditions at risk of suicide in jails often spend months on “mental health watch,” which is essentially extended solitary confinement, exacerbating their conditions.
– Black and Pink is a program that pairs incarcerated individuals with people in the community as penpals, giving them a supportive outlet and providing a connection to the outside world.
– The Prison Book Program mails books to people who are incarcerated to support their educational and personal development as well as offering a form of escape and entertainment.
– The suicide rate for veterans is 1.5 times higher than that of the general population, with about 20 veterans dying from suicide each day.
– Statewide Advocacy for Veterans Empowerment (SAVE) is a Massachusetts program advocating for veterans’ mental health needs and suicide prevention by acting as a liaison to connect veterans with services to help them transition back into civilian life.
– The Veterans crisis line connects veterans in crisis and their loved ones with qualified responders through a confidential hotline, available 24/7.
– Making the connection provides veterans and their families with resources to feel supported by fellow veterans that have also struggled with suicidal ideation.
– You Matter is a safe space for young people to discuss and share stories about mental health and wellness, created and administered by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
– Your Life Your Voice, run by the Boys Town National Hotline organization, provides youth and families the opportunity to ask mental health-related questions via phone, text, chat or email.