Behavior Health and Wellness Blog

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and Wellness Blog

African American Mental Health Disparities

As a member of the black community, unique challenges may arise in mental health. The Black\ African American experience varies greatly amongst individuals, and amongst communities. Having outlets for support can greatly help individuals who may suffer from mental health conditions, outlets for support may be spiritual or artistic, or support from family and friends. Having support from a religious community, church or temple may also be a great outlet of support and healing. Racism, inequity and discrimination can have a very negative impact on an individuals health, and African Americans are more likely to experience these things more than European or White individuals. Being treated as if you are “Less Than” can be very traumatizing. African American individuals also face additional challenges in facing the treatment they need for mental health. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Mental Health Facts for African Americans guide, African Americans are also:

  • Less likely to receive guideline care.
  • Less frequently included in research.
  • More likely to use emergency rooms or primary care (rather than mental health specialists)

Some Barries to mental health care may also include:

  • Socioeconomic Disparities
  • Stigma
  • Provider Bias and Inequality of Care



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