Multicultural Mental Health Resources

Information and resources dedicated to Multicultural Mental Health and Immigrant and Refugee populations.

Page updated on Jul 2, 2019 at 1:04 PM

Multicultural Resources

Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, culture, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

When trying to access treatment, marginalized communities often have to contend with language barriers, a culturally insensitive system, racism, bias and discrimination in treatment settings, lower quality care, lower chance of health care coverage, and stigma from several angles (for being a minority and for having mental illness).

These are all in addition to the usual roadblocks. Many cultures also view mental health treatment as a luxury, considering symptoms a “phase” that will eventually pass. These harmful perceptions of mental illness can further isolate individuals who desperately need help.

Read more about minority mental health issues and listen to stories about minority mental health on NAMI's website. Learn more about multicultural mental health resources below.

Coping with Uncertainty and Fear

Tips for coping, normal reactions in adults and children, ways to respond

Race Based Trauma and Support in Times of Civil Strife

Chronic stress can have negative side effects on everyone. Psycho-social factors, specifically, pervasive exposure to racism and discrimination, create an additional daily stressor for people of color. Research shows this to be particularly true for African-Americans (APA, 2016). 

Background Information:


Multicultural Mental Health Resources

Spanish Language Materials

From the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services

Resources for Addressing Emotional and Psychological Needs in the LGBTQ Community

Although there have been great strides in the legal and civil rights of individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, the LGBTQ population continue to experience worse health outcomes than their heterosexual counterparts. Due to factors like low rates of health insurance coverage, high rates of stress due to systematic harassment and discrimination, and a lack of cultural competency in the health care system, LGBT people are at a higher risk for cancer, mental illnesses, and other diseases, and are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, use drugs, and engage in other risky behaviors.

Find out more:

Does Mental Health Affect My Community?

Multi Mental Health Infographic 

Resources for Immigrants

The DCHS Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee hosts periodic Lunch and Learns to help promote an organizational culture that provides culturally and linguistically appropriate supports and services to Alexandrians. In October 2016, the committee hosted a two-hour presentation exploring resources for immigrants in Northern Virginia and Alexandria in particular and moderated a panel of representatives from regional organizations who provide services to immigrant and refugee populations in NOVA. Follow this link for a collection of resources for immigrants and refugees and information about organizations serving those populations presented during the event.

This is Recovery

“This is Recovery” is a 14 minute video featuring men and women across Northern Virginia who share their stories of recovery to help others who are dealing with similar challenges. They enable and inspire all of us to live in hope. This video was funded by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services and produced by members of the Virginia Recovery Initiative Region 2.  Learn more about the video and City of Alexandria programs and services related to recovery.