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July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

CHICAGO – July 2022 – This month, The Family Institute at Northwestern University is joining the movement to bring increased awareness to the unique challenges that many racial and ethnic minorities face when seeking mental health care.  

Over one-third of Americans live in areas lacking mental health professionals. In some states, over 80% of the population live in a mental health professional shortage area. Within minority communities it is even more challenging to find a mental health care provider that can relate to and understand their specific mental health experiences. Approximately 61% of counselors in the US are white, with the remaining 39% being split up among several minority groups making it more difficult for underrepresented minorities to find providers who look like them or share their cultural experiences.  The need for empathetic mental health care providers for minority communities is great, and we are proud to join the movement to highlight this inequity.    

The Family Institute is committed to serving clients of all backgrounds and understands the need for clinicians with a range of experiences and perspectives that reflect those of the people seeking therapy.   We have several clinicians that specialize in the concerns of minority communities, including racism and cultural issues. We are also available to provide several additional resources such as Self-Care Tips for Black Women from Latoya Johnson-Foster, M.A., support for high-achieving minority female professionals from Heather Lofton, Ph.D., an article on Centering Black Mothers Through Psychotherapy from Nikki Lively, M.A., LCSW, and several bilingual therapists, including Daniel Lopez M.S.W., LCSW, and Alejandra Cardenas Oliveros, M.A., LCP.  We are also currently conducting new research studies on the health disparities of African American families and Cultural Adaptation & Mental Health among U.S. Latinxs. 

Additionally, as educators of the next generation of behavioral health professionals, we aim to recruit and support a diverse student body with the goal of creating a positive long-lasting impact on currently underrepresented communities. We do this through the offering of needs-based scholarships and our online master’s degree learning platforms Counseling@Northwestern and newly launched online Marriage and Family Therapy program, which provides wider access to these programs helping to increase the number of therapists of color in the field.  

Follow us on social media for additional content throughout Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. 


Media Contact: Crystal Reynolds, Director of Marketing,   


Incorporated in 1969, The Family Institute at Northwestern University is committed to strengthening and healing families, couples, children and adults through the highest quality, relationship-based mental health services. As partners to see change, The Family Institute brings together research, education and clinical practice leading to growth for our clients, the next generation of therapists and the field of behavioral health.   

The Family Institute conducts cutting-edge research to better understand mental health issues and treatment, operating two nationally renowned graduate programs through the Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies at Northwestern University in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. For more information, visit