Black mental health
By Lisa Savage | Jan 17, 2023
Mental well-being is an essential aspect of overall health and well-being, yet black individuals often face unique challenges when accessing mental health care and achieving good mental health. For example, black people are more likely to experience discrimination, poverty, and trauma, all of which can harm mental well-being. Additionally, black people are less likely to have access to mental health services and may be hesitant to seek help due to stigma or lack of culturally competent care.
Research shows that black people are more likely to experience certain mental health conditions, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They are also more likely to experience anxiety and panic disorder. However, these conditions often go undiagnosed and untreated. A study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that only 20% of black people with a mental health conditions receive treatment, compared to 40% of white people.
One of the most significant barriers to mental health care for black people is a lack of culturally competent care. Cultural competence is the ability of mental health providers to understand and respect the unique cultural and societal experiences of black individuals. This includes understanding the impact of racism and discrimination on mental well-being and being aware of cultural practices and beliefs that may affect mental health.
Another barrier to mental health care for black people is the high cost of treatment. In addition, black people are more likely to live in poverty and have limited access to health insurance, making it challenging to afford mental health services.
The good news is that there are steps that can be taken to improve mental well-being among black people. This includes increasing access to culturally competent care, addressing the social determinants of health that contribute to poor mental health among black people, and working to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness in black communities.
It is also vital for black people to prioritize their mental well-being and to seek help when needed. This can include talking to a trusted friend or family member, seeking a culturally competent therapist, or connecting with a support group.
In conclusion, black mental well-being is essential for overall health and well-being. Yet, black individuals often face unique challenges when accessing mental health care and achieving good mental health. Therefore, it is vital to address black people’s barriers to accessing mental health care, such as lack of culturally competent care, poverty, and stigma. Additionally, black people must prioritize their mental well-being and seek help when needed, and mental health providers must work to provide culturally competent care.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.). Mental Health in Black America.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2021, March). Mental Health Disparities.
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Cultural Competence.