Awareness of Mental Illness Among Minorities Highlighted During Month of Observance

Westminster, United States, July 15,2019 - July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Why should the mental health of minorities, in particular, be highlighted? Robert Myers, Ph.D., a psychologist with Brand New Day, a Medicare Advantage prescription health plan available in 12 California counties, says that minorities often bear a disproportionately high level of disability resulting from mental illness. He cites statistics from the American Psychiatric Association:

· Although rates of depression are lower in blacks (24.6%) and Hispanics (19.6%) than in whites (34.7%), depression in blacks and Hispanics tends to linger longer

· Those who identify as being two or more races (24.9%) are most likely to report mental illness than any other racial/ethnic group

· Minority youth with behavioral problems are more likely than whites to end up in the juvenile justice system rather than receiving the mental health treatment they need (as high as 75% of youth in the system suffer a mental health issue)

· The U.S. Department of Justice reports 64% of local jail inmates, 56% of state prisoners and 45% of federal prisoners suffer from mental illness, the majority of whom are minorities

“There are myriad reasons why minorities do not seek treatment for mental illness, but at Brand New Day, our Harmony Plan is designed to penetrate those barriers and offer patients proper care.”

Among the barriers Myers cites:

· Lack of insurance or underinsurance

· Cultural stigma about mental illness

· Lack of diversity and access to culturally competent providers

· Language barriers

· Distrust in the health care system

Should you or a family member believe you are at risk of mental illness, visit or call (866) 255-4795 for more information and to explore next steps.

Brand New Day’s Harmony Plan addresses members with a wide range of conditions including major depression, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and paranoid disorder. In addition, Brand New Day offers the Embrace Plan for those with heart disease, hypertension and/or diabetes, and Bridges for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Members with chronic illnesses are not only treated medically, but in a variety of other ways including:

· Education about the member’s chronic or ongoing medical conditions and avoidable risks

· Nutrition

· Exercise

· Self-testing and monitoring

· Medication adherence to doctor orders

· Preventive care planning

· Linkage to community support programs

For qualifying members, it covers transportation to and from medical appointments; vision, dental and acupuncture services; 24-hour/day nurse and physician line; and health and life coaches.

Brand New Day is the Medicare product name of Universal Care, Inc., a privately held California Knox-Keene Healthcare Service Plan licensed by the California Department of Managed Health Care and contracted with the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services as a Medicare Advantage contractor. Universal Care, Inc. is owned and operated by an experienced group of managed care executives and physicians. Universal Care, Inc. was founded in 1983. For more information, visit

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