Lets Talk Mental Health
“Loving someone with mental health is hard, no matter how beautiful poetry makes it sound”. -Cheyenne Tyler Jacobs
According to the US HHS Office of Minority Health, “Adult Black/African Americans are 20 percent more likely to report serious psychological distress than adult whites”. Researchers at the American Psychiatric Association, found 18.9% of Hispanic students grades 9th–12th considered suicide and 11.3% had attempted suicide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 10.8% of Asian American high school students report having attempted suicide as compared to 6.2% of white students. These numbers are just a small look at the reality of what mental health looks like within the lives of Black and Brown individuals. There are also many financial barriers such as lack of insurance and for some communities the lack of communication with their doctor.
One of the biggest issues when it comes to engaging minority communities in mental health treatment is the lack of representation. According to the US HHS Office of Minority Health less than 2% of mental health providers are Black! So with all of this being said there are many issues from lack of providers, lack of financials, racism, and language barriers that impacts minorities.
Now the question becomes what in 2020 can we do in our daily lives to bring awareness and create a safe space for minorities to speak up about their mental health?
Within these Black and Brown communities we need to break these generational curses and beliefs that mental health does not exist.
Yes, prayer works but sometimes Jesus sends a doctor, therapist, medical professional to do his work.
We need to normalize the idea that our "stress" or "frustration" could actually encompass more than a surface level term. (Also that around the clock stress is not okay, we were not made to be stressed).
We need to stop minimizing the concerns our Black sisters and brothers bring to us. Not everything can be brushed off. (i.e. "man up" or "get over it")
We need to encourage those in our communities looking to work in the mental health field because we need more people that look like US.
And that is another key point…Us. We need to not be afraid to take care of us, to admit the trauma placed on us, to explore the past and the choices that impacted us. We as Black people are resilient and it is unfortunate that most of the resilience was accompanied by pain and ingrained mental prisons. It is okay to feel weak and be vulnerable...we are Human. Just know it is never too late to make yourself whole again. Below are resources and platforms that I personally have stumbled upon in my personal journey with mental health. Minority Mental Health is important and I hope after reading this you and your loved ones will be able to have an open conversation about mental health.
Resources and Platforms: