July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

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Allsup promotes better healthcare access, awareness of Social Security disability program

Many people who stop working due to disability lose their employer-provided health insurance.

About 25 percent of U.S. adults have a mental illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost two-thirds of those adults with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment, and racial and ethnic minorities are even less likely to get help, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation, is offering a free poster download to promote awareness and help dispel stigma associated with mental illness.

According to NAMI’s Multicultural Action Center, in many racially and ethnically diverse communities, there is a stigma surrounding mental illness, often caused by cultural differences and lack of information. This not only can lead to the avoidance of mental health treatment, but often results in a lack of knowledge regarding financial options, such as Social Security disability benefits.

Thought leaders attending the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health’s national Latino Mental Health Conference in April acknowledged the need for increased education on SSDI and other resources.

“Many Latinos who have both physical and mental healthcare needs do not access all of the resources available to them because of stigma, lack of knowledge, and oftentimes our cultural beliefs and attitudes, such as self-reliance,” said Henry Acosta, executive director of the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health. “These are important social safety nets in place for those in need, and we should do a better job of educating people about eligibility so they know their rights.”

Many people who stop working due to disability lose their employer-provided health insurance. In a survey conducted by Allsup, nearly 30 percent of SSDI applicants said they lost their health insurance coverage while waiting for benefits. Individuals are eligible for Medicare 24 months after their SSDI cash benefits begin.

“If we are able to help them get their Social Security disability benefits, we can then encourage them to seek primary and preventive care, rather than going to the emergency room,” Acosta said. “We save the public money, and everyone benefits.”

To determine if you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, call the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (888) 841-2126 for a free SSDI eligibility evaluation. For referrals to mental health resources near you, call the NAMI Helpline at (800) 950-6264.

For more information on mental health and other resources, register for the Allsup True Help® Disability Web Expo at webexpo.allsup.com.

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.

The National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health is a private, nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to promoting quality mental health services through policy development initiatives, training, technical assistance, research, data collection, best practice development, and anti-stigma and anti-discrimination campaigns. The NRCHMH specifically aims to reduce disparities and to increase treatment quality and availability of mental health services for Hispanics throughout the nation.

Tai Venuti                
(618) 236-8573    

Henry Acosta
(973) 930-1844

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Tai Venuti
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Henry Acosta
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