Cultural Diversity & Race


Individuals from a racial or ethnic minority are less likely to receive mental health care (see PDF). Language differences, lack of cultural competence, reduced access to mental health services, and under-representation of minorities in the mental health field are a few barriers to care. All of these considerations apply to communities that often experience mental health repercussions of racism and cultural insensitivity. Health and mental health disparities prevent equality among all people to access and receive high-quality, necessary care.


There are, however, some psychologists who train specifically to work with individuals who experience discrimination and racism, or who fear stigma associated with seeking mental health services. If you are looking for a therapist, it’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. It’s okay to interview several potential therapists to find the best fit. It’s also important to note that even a therapist that shares your racial or cultural identity may not automatically be a good fit. Ask questions that will help you determine whether a potential therapist is culturally competent, is sensitive to racial issues, speaks your language, and otherwise seems preferable to work with.