Observing National Minority Mental Health Month


At Villa Kali Ma, we believe that happiness is a gift given to all life. Vibrant, abundant well-being arises organically from inside our own deepest natures if only we can find a way to access it.

But the forces that entrain us women into suffering are mighty, and our birthright of natural happiness can be greatly harmed by many destructive factors coming at us from the outside.

While it’s true that healing the psyche is an inside job, outer life circumstances can be favorable or unfavorable to that work. It is part of the mystery and complexity of human life to understand the ways that we are each and every one of us products of our environment, even as we co-create that environment together.

Many social conditions directly oppose health and happiness. Poverty is an example of such a condition – when people are pushed to direct all of their personal consciousness energy just to attend to basic survival needs, mental health suffers.

Health takes time, safety, and resources. Poverty, racism, sexism, and other forms of widespread social illness represent real challenges to our ability to be well.

For all these reasons and more, Villa Kali Ma celebrates National Minority Health Month.

What is National Minority Mental Health Month?

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month takes place every July. Dedicated to raising awareness about unique challenges faced by ethnic and racial minorities within the United States, the month-long campaign aims to support minority mental health topics to receive greater attention in the national dialogue.

How can mental health affect women of all races and ethnicities?


Mental illness affects women of all races and ethnicities. Likewise, mental health can flourish in the heart, mind, and body of any woman, no matter what her culture or socioeconomic position.

Mental health is not determined by forces outside of us, though social circumstances can certainly make it much harder for us to find our way to the healing resources that lie in wait inside us.

We all inherit beliefs and undergo social programming, no matter who we are. It is the difficult job of each woman on a healing path to discover which of those beliefs she wants to keep, and which she would like to discard.

If we let society tell us who we are, we as females and especially if we are also from a minority cultural group, may have very little sense of value, except in certain very limited ways.

Mental health for any woman depends on regaining control over one’s own thoughts, feelings, actions, and relationship to herself. We must remember that we deserve our own love, and find a way to love ourselves in spite of overwhelming messages to the contrary. We must also love ourselves in the face of blatant social inequalities, widespread systemic injustice, and true victimization.

What mental illnesses are common for women in minority groups?

Mental illness symptoms can arise in anyone. For women in minority groups, it’s important to understand the ways that certain mental illness symptoms can be masked or exacerbated by cultural and familial expectations about suffering.

There is no culture that is better than another, we are all colored by our own origins. The key is to discern the ways that our consciousness is being impacted by the values and ideas we have been taught. Once we see the lenses that distort our thoughts, we can extract them and replace them with a more loving view.

Some cultures have more stigma around mental illness, getting help, or even speaking your mind. Some cultures are more accepting of emotions like anger and sadness, while others may attach shame to having certain kinds of human experiences, even though everyone secretly has them. Almost all cultures have differing expectations of men and women. Any group identity to which we belong shapes us to some degree, affecting how we think about ourselves and others.

Some specific mental health impacts that could be affecting you if you grew up in a minority culture within the United States include trauma, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

To be clear, all of the above impacts can affect anyone from any culture. However, they are factors that are known to affect some members of minority groups within the United States for certain systemic reasons. Some examples of systemic impacts include poverty, growing up in unsafe conditions, being pressured to perform perfectly because of representing one’s race within the mainstream, and generally being misunderstood, ignored, or devalued by the larger cultural paradigm. Further, some minority women are dealing with the effects of racially motivated violence, psychological abuse, bullying, and prejudice.


Trauma can become a mental health issue whenever we are exposed repeatedly to frightening, soul-fragmenting events, such as violence, abuse, and sexual assault. Depending on where in the country you grew up, in what economic conditions you live, whether in a city or the country and also what kind of family you have (if there is addiction or trauma in your family), you may have been exposed to greater or lesser measures of life-threatening events.

Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can be pervasive among women growing up in minority cultures due to a lack of value, visibility, and fair treatment by the dominant culture. For many women, lack of accurate representation in media, and lack of understanding of one’s experience as a member of a minority group existing within a larger majority, can lead to a diminished, devalued sense of self.

Depression, Anxiety, and Addiction

Depression and anxiety are symptoms of traumatization and low self-esteem, as well as other factors, such as undue economic burdens, systemic disadvantage, prejudice, and more. Finally, substance abuse can be a greater problem in certain communities, where poverty and violent crime are high and basic safety lacking.

Remember, no one has to be determined by their conditions. But at the same time, we have to give ourselves fair recognition of what we’ve survived, and what we are up against now.

When conditions have not been friendly to our soul finding love and support to be our true selves in this world, we will need extra help. That is completely to be expected (and not on us).

We are not to blame for the impacts of a racist, sexist, inhuman culture. We do have the power to reverse its effects, and we can prevail at bringing our light to shine in this world, all the same, as thousands of inspiring women before us have shown.

Addressing mental health challenges among minority groups

There is no easy way to address minority mental health challenges all at once, just as there is no single definition of a minority woman. Nor should everyone be painted with the same brush. We are always also an individual spirit, no matter how we have been shaped and colored by our lineage, culture, and society at large.

We can practice greater sensitivity, consideration, openness, and awareness that women with different cultural backgrounds have different experiences of this world than we do, in many ways, we may not yet be aware of. It’s ok for us to learn more about others and to let go of old beliefs. To make space for voices other than the ones we’re familiar with, and to be affected.

We at Villa Kali Ma want to spread the following message:

It’s hard to be a woman in this world. It takes everything we have just to make it. We all need help learning how to be here, and there is help to be had.

There’s nothing shameful about any of us, as broken as we may be. And every single one of us can recover fully, to live lives of great beauty.

There is love, kindness, and support available for every single one of us, no matter who we are. 

Villa Kali Ma can assist women with mental health


Villa Kali Ma is dedicated to helping mental health flourish and grow in women’s hearts and minds. Different as we are, we are also all connected through our shared humanity, equally deserving of the somber and tender magic of healing.

All women know heartache and hurt, as well as love and courage. On the strength of these commonalities, we do our best to help women find the freedom we believe belongs to all womankind.

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