April 14, 2021

Mental Health Issues Among African Americans and How to Deal with it

Mental health is a core part of our life that is extremely important for our well-being. Specifically, when talking about African American people, they are more at risk of having their mental health compromised. They have been experiencing trauma and violence more often than their White counterparts, which impacts their mental and emotional health invariably.

Violence and racism against black Americans have been a part of American society and culture for a long time. African Americans have suffered from all sorts of discrimination which includes structural, institutional, and individual racism. This racism has created a mistrustful societal experience, and therefore, they never feel comfortable around people. We can’t deny that they have grown up seeing everything like this, and most of them have not heard the word mental health and do not know its significance.

There are several sobering statistics that would make us realize that African American people are at a considerable risk of being mentally compromised and how it is affecting their lives. More than 18.6 white Americans received mental health services, while 9% of African Americans got a chance to cater to their mental health needs.

There are several diseases that are invariably growing in African Americans due to the behavior they are suffering through and because of the racism that they are going through. When it comes to behavioral treatments, African Americans are more likely to share their feelings of sadness, worthlessness, neglect, and hopelessness as compared to white Americans and everyone else.

This makes it even more straightforward for us that how much their mental health is compromised, and the reason behind it is just them being black.

Depression and Suicide Risks

Whenever it comes to the diagnosis of depression and its treatments, the statistics show that African Americans are more likely to be a victim of it. Less than 50% of African Americans get the platform to be treated, and everyone else keeps fighting through the severe circumstances caused by depression which includes suicides. Black people are more likely to attempt suicide because of being continuously bullied in their regular lives.

One of the most common reasons why suicides are attempted by them is the anxiety that is caused because of feeling neglected in society and because of being separated in all terms and aspects of lives. They are more likely to be a victim of substance abuse, and this is something for which we can’t blame them. The tension has compelled them to take these steps.

There are several ways through which mental health can be prioritized again, and they can be given precisely the platforms that everyone is getting.

Dealing with Mental Health Issues

Below are some ways in which African Americans can deal with everything that’s affecting their mental health and wellbeing.

Look for Professional Help

If you feel your mental health is being impacted adversely, don’t wait for someone to make things better for you. instead, seek help on your own. You can look for professional counseling. Sometimes a little talking is all you need to feel better and that’s exactly what you should do.

Start Speaking Up

If there’s any sort of discrimination, start speaking up. Losing your calm won’t help you. instead, start taking up things strategically and smartly. A step at a time will take you a long way

Join Support Groups

One way of dealing with discrimination and negligence is to join support groups like the AAFS that can stand up for basic rights and ensure that their needs are being met adequately. Support groups provide the much-needed representation and support that will ensure your mental wellbeing.

Mental health is a very vital part of our lives, and every one of us should make sure that people who are living around are doing well. When it comes to African Americans, as mentioned above, their mental health is quite compromised. If you are the one who is surrounded by them or anyone else who is going through any mental issues, try to be courteous towards them, and help them bring themselves back to their lives. Stay happy!

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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