What do counselors, psychologists, and social workers all have in common? Each are a part of the large community of helping professions. A helping profession is a job focused on providing timely care, support, advocacy, and outreach to others in need with the intent to improve a part or the overall well-being of an individual. But what happens when there is a disproportionate group of people receiving and/or seeking help with mental illness and substance use?
In 2019, just prior to the pandemic, more than 40 million Americans, aged 12 or older, had a substance use disorder (SUD). As noted by the CDC, the use of alcohol and other substances can lead to anxiety, depression, family problems, violence, and other health and societal outcomes. Moreover, we know that today, about 1 in 5 American adults and 1 in 5 children will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives.
When we review the latest report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), we see that Black, Hispanic or Latino, or Asian adults were less likely to receive mental health services in the past year than White or Multiracial adults. Moreover, according to NSDUH’s report, 94% of people aged 12 or older with a substance use disorder did not receive any treatment.
Why Representation Matters
This data is critical and highlights the need for representation on many fronts within helping professions. For example, research shows that negative stereotypes and stigma surrounding mental illness and substance abuse has led to the presence of self-stigma among those experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders. Self-stigma in turn has interfered with a person’s willingness to seek help and treatment.
Increasing representation among our workforce of counselors, social workers, and psychologists can be a critical step to improving strategic outreach to underrepresented and marginalized groups that do not typically seek treatment. Moreover, improving representation among these professions can also inform our communication strategies that effectively support individuals across a range of age brackets, with cultural and linguistic differences, and other important attributes that should inform our ability to provide targeted and effective care.
Our Commitment to a Diverse Workforce
At Magellan Federal, we are committed to diversifying our team of employees and provider network because we desire to reach and serve all who are in need. As such, we are committed to removing real and perceived barriers to care and we do this in part by practicing cultural humility within our organization and with those whom we serve in our communities.
As we continue to grow and diversify, we make intentional efforts to understand each person’s wholistic identity, commit ourselves to an ongoing process of compassionate self-awareness and inquiry, remain open and teachable, and we remember that society and culture is ever evolving, and we must as well.
If you possess these values, we invite you to join our team! Click the links below to learn more.