Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

By Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr.
July 7, 2022

With the arrival of July, the summer heat has set in as folks are enjoying their summer break, cookouts and spending time with family. But July is also Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of the unique mental health struggles that communities face.

According to Mental Health America, Native Americans experience serious psychological distress 2.5 times more than the general population over time. The suicide death rate for Native Americans between the ages of 15-19 is more than double that of non-Hispanic whites. Additionally, Native Americans start to use and abuse alcohol and other drugs at younger ages and higher rates than all other ethnic groups.

The Choctaw Nation’s commitment to the wellness of tribal members provides a variety of mental health services for adults, adolescents, and children at any Choctaw Nation health clinic. Additionally, the following resources are available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • The National Helpline for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders – 800-662-4357;
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is – 800-273-8255; please note that effective July 16, 2022, this will change to a 3-digit dialing code 988; and
  • The text crisis line for immediate help – text INDIGENOUS to 741-741.

If you or someone you know could benefit from these services, reach out sooner rather than later to get assistance.

God bless.