LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, but there are still barriers to minority mental healthcare.

But for many people in communities of color, the process of navigating these challenges can be difficult.

Dr. Sid Khurana, the medical director at Nevada Mental Health, knows the struggles minorities face all too well.

“The Asian culture, the culture I come from, we are one-third less likely to seek mental healthcare than our Caucasian counterparts and that comes from our own perceptions of mental illness, lack of adequate insight,” explained Dr. Khurana.

In many cultures, the stigma about mental health comes from fear or shame, preventing people from seeking help.

“They do not believe that they will get the right care from their treatment providers, or their culture would be understood, their language would be understood, or they have a distrust of the system which often times prevents them from seeking care,” added Dr. Khurana.

Other factors also include the type of community you live in, lack of transportation, and lack of health insurance.

Dr. Jacobs, the Vice President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI of Southern Nevada, is trying to change that.

“We’re working more with youth and communities of color, one of the emphases has been meeting people where they are,” said Dr. Jacobs. “So, a lot of our support groups, we have them in locations where it’s accessible for folks where support groups are needed the most.”

Dr. Jacobs says NAMI is working on partnering with other mental health organizations as well to address those needs.

“We’re really trying to educate individuals in various communities about mental health and normalize it as much as possible by spreading awareness,” said Dr. Jacobs.

NAMI has peer support led groups free of charge. For a list of services and to learn more, visit this link.