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Learn More. Or in a crisis , text "NAMI" to Donate Now. While the experience of being Black in America varies tremendously, there are shared cultural factors that play a role in helping define mental health and supporting well-being, resiliency and healing.
Part of this shared cultural experience — family connections, values, expression through spirituality or music, reliance on community and religious networks — are enriching and can be great sources of strength and support. Additionally, members of the Black community face structural challenges accessing the care and treatment they need.
Black adults living below the poverty line are more than twice as likely to report serious psychological distress than those with more financial security. Despite the needs, only one in three Black adults who need mental health care receive it. Socioeconomic Disparities Socioeconomic factors can make treatment options less available.
In , The Black community, like other communities of color, are more likely to experience socioeconomic disparities such as exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources. These disparities may contribute to worse mental health outcomes. Stigma Negative attitudes and beliefs towards people who live with mental health conditions is pervasive within the U. As a result, people may experience shame about having a mental illness and worry that they may be discriminated against due to their condition.
For many in the Black community, it can be incredibly challenging to discuss the topic of mental health due to this concern about how they may be perceived by others. This fear could prevent people from seeking mental health care when they really need it. Additionally, many people choose to seek support from their faith community rather than seeking a medical diagnosis. In many Black communities in the U.
Faith and spirituality can help in the recovery process and be an important part of a treatment plan. For example, spiritual leaders and faith communities can provide support and reduce isolation. However, they should not be the only option for people whose daily functioning is impaired by mental health symptoms. Provider Bias and Inequality of Care Black people have historically been negatively affected by prejudice and discrimination in the health care system in the US. And, unfortunately, many Black people still have these negative experiences when they attempt to seek treatment.
Provider bias, both conscious and unconscious, and a lack of cultural competency can result in misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment. This ultimately can lead to mistrust of mental health professionals and create a barrier for many to engage in treatment. Black people may also be more likely to identify and describe physical symptoms related to mental health problems. For example, they may describe bodily aches and pains when talking about depression. A health care provider who is not culturally competent might not recognize these as symptoms of a mental health condition.
Additionally, Black men are more likely to receive a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia when expressing symptoms related to mood disorders or PTSD. When a person is experiencing challenges with their mental health, it is essential for them to receive quality care as soon as the symptoms are recognized. It is equally important that the care they receive is provided by culturally competent health care professionals. While we recommend seeking help from a mental health professional , a primary care professional is also a great place to start.
A primary care professional might be able to provide an initial mental health assessment and referral to a mental health professional if needed. Community and faith organizations may also have a list of available mental health providers in your area. When meeting with a provider, it can be helpful to ask questions to get a sense of their level of cultural awareness.
Providers expect and welcome questions from their patients or clients, since this helps them better understand what is important in their treatment. Here are some sample questions:. Whether you seek help from a primary care professional or a mental health professional, you should finish your sessions with the health care professional feeling heard and respected. You may want to ask yourself:. The relationship and communication between a person and their mental health provider is a key aspect of treatment. The program also highlights to navigate the mental health system.
Recovery is possible, and this booklet tells you where to find more information, seek help and be supportive. Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective BEAM Group aimed at removing the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing. They do this through education, training, advocacy and the creative arts. Black Men Heal Limited and selective free mental health service opportunities for Black men.
Black Mental Wellness Provides access to evidence-based information and resources about mental health and behavioral health topics from a Black perspective, as well as training opportunities for students and professionals. Individuals with life-changing stressors and anxiety related to the coronavirus will have the cost for up to five 5 individual sessions defrayed on a first come, first serve basis until all funds are committed or exhausted.
Website offers an online toolkit that provides Omega Psi Phi Fraternity chapters with the materials needed to educate fellow fraternity brothers and community members on depression and stress in Black men. Ebony's Mental Health Resources by State List of Black-owned and focused mental health resources by state as compiled by Ebony magazine. Hurdle Provides culturally sensitive self-care support and teletherapy for Black men and their families.
Residents of other states can their waiting list and will be notified when Hurdle is available in their state. Promotes the growth and healing of diverse communities through its website, online directory and events. Ourselves Black Provides information on promoting mental health and developing positive coping mechanisms through a podcast, online magazine and online discussion groups. POC Online Classroom Contains readings on the importance of self care, mental health care, and healing for people of color and within activist movements.
Sista Afya Organization that provides mental wellness education, resource connection and community support for Black women. Therapy for Black Girls Online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. Offers listing of mental health professionals across the country who provide high quality, culturally competent services to Black women and girls, an informational podcast and an online support community.
The Steve Fund Organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color. Unapologetically Us Online community for Black women to seek support. We recognize that many mental health conditions are being triggered as a result of the coronavirus, the economic crisis and repeated racist incidents and death. Learn more about mental health conditions including anxiety disorders , depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Understanding and addressing the social determinants of health that impact mental health. Search Close Menu.
In About Mental Illness. About Mental Illness Treatments. About Mental Illness Research. Your Journey Individuals with Mental Illness. Your Journey Family Members and Caregivers. Your Journey Identity and Cultural Dimensions.
Your Journey Frontline Professionals. Get Involved Become a Fundraiser. Get Involved Awareness Events. Get Involved Share Your Story. Get Involved Partner with Us. Advocacy Advocate for Change. Advocacy Policy Priorities. Advocacy Policy Platform. Advocacy Crisis Intervention. Advocacy State Fact Sheets. Advocacy Public Policy Reports. Know the warning s Learn the common s of mental illness in adults and adolescents.
Mental health conditions Learn more about common mental health conditions that affect millions. How to Seek Culturally Competent Care When a person is experiencing challenges with their mental health, it is essential for them to receive quality care as soon as the symptoms are recognized.
Here are some sample questions: Have you treated other Black people or received training in cultural competence for Black mental health? If not, how do you plan to provide me with culturally sensitive, patient-centered care? How do you see our cultural backgrounds influencing our communication and my treatment?
Do you use a different approach in your treatment when working with patients from different cultural backgrounds? What is your current understanding of differences in health outcomes for Black patients? You may want to ask yourself: Did my provider communicate effectively with me? Is my provider willing to integrate my beliefs, practices, identity and cultural background into my treatment plan? Did I feel like I was treated with respect and dignity?
Do I feel like my provider understands and relates well with me? More Information If finances are preventing you from finding help, contact a local health or mental health clinic or your local government to see what services you qualify for. You can find contact information online at findtreatment. Self-Care for People of Color We recognize that many mental health conditions are being triggered as a result of the coronavirus, the economic crisis and repeated racist incidents and death.
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