There are many social justice issues in the world today. Among them are gender inequality, systemic racism, poverty, and unequal access to needed services. To raise global awareness of the problem, in 2009 the United Nations declared February 20th to be “World Day of Social Justice”.
The purpose of the day is to focus on the plight of social injustice throughout the world and to press for improvements and solutions. The day also committed to promote equitable distribution of income and greater access to resources through equity and equality for all. World Day of Social Justice recognizes the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as discrimination, poverty, gender equity and access to justice for all.
Here in our corner of the world, L.A. CADA is working to overcome inequity in behavioral healthcare for people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and persons involved in the criminal justice system. Here are some facts to know:
- The U.S. population gets more diverse each year. By 2044, more than half of all Americans will belong to an ethnic group other than non-Hispanic White. (U.S. Census)
- People from racial/ethnic minority groups are less likely to receive mental health care. In 2015, among adults with any mental illness, 48% of whites received mental health services, compared with 31% of blacks and Hispanics, and 22% of Asians. (2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report)
- Of people who need treatment for substance use disorders, whites receive treatment 23.5% of the time, while Black and Hispanic individuals only receive treatment 18.6% of 17.6% of the time, respectively. (SAMHSA, 2022).
- Black and Latino people make up 30% of the U.S. population, but they account for 51% of the jail population. (MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge website)
- 58% of state prisoners and 63% of sentenced jail inmates met criteria for drug dependence, but only 26% of prisoners and 19% of jail inmates participated in a drug treatment program while incarcerated. (MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge website)
- LGBTQ individuals are 2.5 times more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and substance misuse compared with heterosexual individuals. (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics)
- LGBTQ individuals are more likely to be victims of violence as compared with their heterosexual peers. (American Psychiatric Association)
L.A. CADA is working toward social justice in behavioral healthcare 365 days of the year. We’re here for you if you need help — call us at (562) 906-2676.