According to statistics more than 19 million are diagnosed with some form of depressive disorder and the numbers are continuing to grow. African Americans contribute to only 13% of the nation’s population and are over represented in most statistics in regard to most societal ills. Incarceration, HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, mortality rates for heart disease and the mortality rates breast cancer for African American women as well as Mental illness, are societal ills that are affecting the community. Due to the stigma surrounding around Mental Health, African Americans are most often left either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, therefore not receiving adequate care needed to treat their presenting problems. As a result, most in this category may oftentimes endure chronic homelessness, substance abuse issues and a cycle of incarceration due to their mental health issues, becoming increasingly worst in some cases and posing a significant safety risk to self and others. Moreover, mental health related issues are masked by physical health issues such as: diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, stoke and obesity from depression related overeating which African Americans continue to be plagued with in very high numbers. However, many African Americans, like the rest of the population, most times, rather treat their physiological issues due to society’s acceptance of physical health versus mental health issues, which we have all continually witnessed the tragic ramification of mass shootings due to unaddressed mental health issues.
This continues to lead to circular and unresolved discussions about gun laws with the subject of mental health being swept under the rug in the end. Lack of attention to any issue will gives birth to growing misconceptions and myths which we have seen.
Historical Background of Current Stigma of Mental Health in African American Community
Issues contributing to the current myths and misconceptions deter many African Americans from seeking mental health treatment include, but at not limited to the following:
A) Distrust towards the medical system due to a historical deception of bureaucracy systems
ie. Tuskegee Experiment
B) Racial biases by medical professionals servicing African Americans
C) Lack of insurance and monetary resources to access and receive optimal care
D) Religious Faith beliefs
E) Fear of being labeled as “crazy” by loved ones.
How Myth are Perpetuated
In my years of practice, I’ve often had clients report that they were attending sessions with me in secrecy due to fearing being ostracized by their loved ones Continue reading “The Stigma of Mental Health in the African American Community ~ Leticia Reed, LCSW”
I think in many cultures, men are told to be strong, and part of asking for any kind of help is seen as weak. In Fayetteville, so many people are connected to the military and there can be clearances involved. So many people think that going to therapy will make them lose their job or their clearance Continue reading “Everyone can be part of the solution, if we know what to look for…” Q&A with Joanna Nunez for Dads & Depression Event
Stigma and discrimination can also worsen someone’s mental health problems, and delay or impede their getting help and treatment, and their recovery. Social isolation, poor housing, unemployment, and poverty are all linked to mental ill health. So stigma and discrimination can trap people in a cycle of illness. Continue reading Dads & Depression Event speaker, Travis Andrews, LPC believes in “Challenging men to reduce levels of ego, pride and identifying the importance of mental health.”
I choose to Speak Away the Stigma of Depression because…….
I am now a part of this community and this is a way to share my support for it and my love for all people using the gifts I have been given. I want the men to represent on June 24th and let’s speak away the stigma!!! Continue reading “Men are the backbones of our families…” Q & A w/Richale R. Reed MA, LPC, LCAS for Dads & Depression Event
Why did I choose mental health? My decision to become a psychologist began with my love for fashion design. I know, I know…the two don’t seem to go together. Well, as long as I can remember I wanted to pursue a career in the fashion industry. Since I stopped growing at 5’4” tall at 10 years old, my dream of becoming a model was … Continue reading “Mental Health Advocacy is my life’s work.” ~ Dr. Cindy T. Graham
Dr. Amber Thornton is a licensed clinical psychologist, currently practicing in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. Read more about Dr. Amber Thornton and her professional approach to mental health. Continue reading Not “Eliminate”… but “Manage”
COMING SOON! WE WILL FEATURE THERAPIST FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE FEATURED PLEASE EMAIL US AT SpeakAwaytheStigma@gmail.com Continue reading