Updated: Jul 24, 2019
It’s not a secret that minorities face the brunt of society. They are marginalized, excluded, and stereotyped on a frequent basis; and unfortunately, the mental health arena is no different.
Studies have shown that minorities – including African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx, Middle Easterners, the LGBTQ+ along with the disabled community – experience higher challenges accessing mental health care services.
According to “Mental Health, Culture, Race and Ethnicity,” minorities have less access to mental health services than do Whites, are less likely to receive their needed care, and are more likely to receive poor quality care when treated. Minorities are more likely than whites to delay or fail to seek treatment, even though, they are equally as likely to report a mental health condition. If one does enter treatment, minorities are more likely than Whites to terminate treatment prematurely.
The disparities of mental care access that minorities face can be explained by a number of reasons. Among them are the lack of education about mental health which adds to the stigma, the type of treatment needed, cost, and the severe lack of cultural competency by the healthcare industry.
FINDING THE RIGHT THERAPIST IS NOT A PRIVILEGE BUT A RIGHT.
All these factors explain OUR WHY and the reasons behind the mission of our startup called AYANA. AYANA is an affordable and easy to use app that will offer online therapy and counseling by matching licensed professionals with communities of color, disabled and LGBTQ. Minorities are often misdiagnosed due to mismatching with medical providers, which causes them to stop getting treatment, and exacerbates the already existing distrust. That is why diversity and intersectionality are very important to us. Ideally, we would want our success to be gauged by having been of support to a Black, lesbian, Muslim woman, or a Latino, trans, Catholic, or a gay, Asian, and Buddhist man. Hence, our name is AYANA, the Bengali translation of the word “mirror”, because reflection matters.