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Are you a member of a BIPOC community who feels unseen in the mental health care system? You are not alone. The BIPOC community is not a monolith, and your experiences with your identity are unique—as are your experiences with systemic oppression and barriers to accessing appropriate care. Many psychologists today agree that culture and community represent a key pillar to our mental health; when finding care, if a provider does not consider these elements, they are missing a huge part of the picture. Culturally competent or appropriate care can make a huge difference in creating a comfortable and healthy environment to support you in your mental health journey.

In navigating our mental health journeys, it’s important to seek out support from someone who understands your cultural and racial identities and incorporates this understanding into your care. Whether you want to find a therapist who looks like you and shares your experience, or someone specializing in culturally responsive care, we are here for you as you search.

According to the social work department at Simmons University and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 56% of white healthcare providers report having no form of cultural competency training. The American Psychological Association states that in 2021, over 80% of psychologists were white. Everyone is different; it is valid to only feel comfortable with a provider who shares identities with you. However, there are options for finding an understanding and well-informed provider that may share a different background.

If you are in the process of finding a therapist now and need a place to start,  the directories we discussed in our 4 Common Barriers to Accessing Mental Health Treatment and Ways to Address Them post can help you connect with someone who understands and gets where you are coming from.

If you find a therapist who specializes in the mental health topics you are looking for support with, there are ways for you to assess if they have the level of understanding they need to support you. When you find a therapist you like and have a phone call to ask them some questions, here are some examples that can help you assess their cultural competence and understanding, from Culturally Competent Therapist: How to Find a Culturally Competent Therapist Who Really Makes You Feel Heard | SELF:

  1. How comfortable do you feel addressing African American issues, and how comfortable do you feel discussing them with me?
  2. What trainings or consultations do you do around Muslim issues?
  3. What do you do to stay on top of culturally competent mental health care?
  4. Do you treat many patients who are LGBTQ+?
  5. Are you trans-affirming?
  6. Are you bi-affirming?
  7. How much antiracism training have you done?
  8. What sorts of culturally specific resources do you refer your patients to?
  9. Will you let me know if you don’t feel you can support me in the way that I need?

While you are in the process of looking for a therapist, we’re here for you. Call 211 to be connected with specific resources for BIPOC communities and your specific identity within that, as well as assistance navigating the systems in place for receiving care. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or are having a mental health crisis, call or text 988 and someone will be available to talk to you and get you to tomorrow.

In addition to Crisis Connections lines, here are a couple identity-based support lines to support you in your mental health journey:


Call BlackLine-Crisis Call Line

  • Focus: Black, Black LGBTQI, Brown, Native and Muslim community
  • Who answers? Volunteers who have received intensive crisis counseling training, can be people of all ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and especially those who are bilingual and bicultural.
  • Call or text (800-604-5841).

StrongHearts Native Helpline | About (

  • Focus: Native American and Alaska Natives impacted by domestic and sexual violence
  • Who answers? It is staffed by advocates with a strong understanding of Native cultures, as well as issues of tribal sovereignty and law.
  • Call or text 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483), or chat at StrongHearts Native Helpline | Get Help (

For additional Black mental health resources, check out this wonderful article:

44 Black Mental Health Support Resources for Anyone Who Needs Them | SELF