MENTAL HEALTH AMONG BLACKS IN VIEW
Blacks endure more intense and frequent mental and behavioral health issues than their counterparts, at least in part related to poverty and exposure to racism and discrimination, both of which disproportionally affect minorities.
African Americans share the same mental health issues as the rest of the
population, with arguably even greater stressors due to racism, prejudice and economic disparities. Meanwhile, many wonder why African Americans shy away from “getting help” as a potential solution to challenges such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, marriage problems and parenting issues.
In the Black community, mental illness is thought of as a White person’s disease. it is nothing that affects Black people. But mental illness is not dependent upon race or gender. Mental health is extremely important for any and everyone, no matter their race may experience or deal with mental health issues. Without mental health, we cannot be healthy. Everyone experiences emotional ups and downs, including Black people.
According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population.
The stigma surrounding mental illness in the Black community is heavy as Black people feel as though choosing to seek professional help, such as a therapist, is a sign of weakness. The topic of mental health is largely absent from discourse in the Black community. It is not a topic that is talked about amongst friends or family given the stigma associated with mental illness in the Black community. In fact, some family members may even ridicule or make fun of the individual dealing with the mental illness. As a result, individuals in the Black community choose to suffer in silence rather than telling anyone what they may be dealing with.