Quilt like image with colorful blocks with geometric shapes and profiles of people in the BIPOC community.

HEALTH EQUITY 

BIPOC Mental Health 

The research and data around mental health in America demonstrates what many individuals who identify as black, indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) have long known to be true: that acts of racism and discrimination negatively effect a person's safety, health, and wellbeing in countless ways 

Racism and discrimination can take many forms – from individual “microaggressions” (which, despite its name, can significantly affect a person’s sense of safety and belonging) to broad systemic inequities that harm an entire community’s quality of life for generations.   

It’s important to recognize and acknowledge that behavioral health and medical providers have also been complicit in this centuries-old harm and mistreatment of communities of color. To better serve historically minoritized communities and close existing healthcare gaps, we must do the work to better understand this historical context and adopt new policies centered around equity, justice, and belonging.  

At Mental Health Partners, we continue to improve our understanding of the needs of our community and the delivery of culturally responsive care to historically minoritized and under-resourced communities in our region. 

Continue reading to expand your knowledge and understanding on this important topic.  

What does BIPOC mean?  

BIPOC (pronounced “bye-pock”) is an acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color. This term is often used in the United States to highlight the collective experiences of communities of color and establish solidarity between culturally diverse groups. At the same time, BIPOC centers on the experiences of Black and Indigenous communities. 

While we use the term BIPOC in this article, we also recognize that the term is imperfect and imprecise, and not all individuals or communities prefer to be identified as such. Some feel as though this umbrella term erases their own unique history, trauma, culture, and experiences. Not all people of color have the same lived experience, particularly when it comes to legislation, prejudice, and systemic oppression. 

Always respect and use the terminology that an individual, group, or community uses to self-identify. 

BIPOC Mental Health Statistics 

Mental health and wellness doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Experts now understand that a wide range of factors can impact a person’s quality of life and their long-term health – including where they are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age. These factors are referred to as the Social Determinants of Health. 

The statistics below demonstrate how these Determinants negatively affect many BIPOC individuals and communities in measurable ways.

 Healthy People 2030 Sdoh Graphic Domain Labels

Additional Learning & Resources 

BIPOC mental health resources 

Black Mental Wellness Lounge
A safe space on YouTube created to talk about things that directly impact Black people’s mental health.
 

The Loveland Foundation
A national nonprofit that provides financial assistance to Black women and girls seeking therapy.
 

GirlTrek
A national nonprofit that encourages Black women and girls to adopt walking as a form of exercise and self-care
.
 

Okra Project
A grassroots nonprofit that addresses food insecurity in the Black community, as well as mental health recovery funds to provide Black trans men and women sessions with a licensed Black therapist, free of cost.
 

Black Mental Health Alliance
A national organization dedicated to developing, promoting, and sponsoring culturally relevant educational forums, training, and referral services to support the health and well-being of Black individuals. 

Therapy for Black Girls
Working to connect Black women with culturally competent therapists, and to destigmatize mental health and therapy in the Black community. 

This Is [Not] Who We Are
A documentary film
exploring the gap between Boulder’s “progressive” self-image and the more complex lived experiences—both historical and contemporary—of its Black citizens.
 

Population-specific guides from Mental Health America 

Local equity organizations & community partners 

Black and African American communities