A striking aspect of mental health disorders is the universality of the stigma around it. And like every problem that pervades the fabric of the society, the minority and those who are less privileged are the ones most affected.
This stigma prevents many of our African American brothers and sisters from recognizing their mental health needs and getting help from an African American therapist.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), because African Americans don’t get included in research frequently and are less likely to receive guideline-consistent care, there is not enough data to go around that can be utilized by a provider of mental health service in Raleigh, North Carolina, like us at Breaking Barriers Wellness & Counseling.
Structural and institutional reforms are the obvious answer, but we can all contribute by making changes within ourselves. By doing so, we can make it a better world for the African American community.
- Deliberately learn about how mental health stigma affects African Americans
- Start the conversation about mental health in your circles
- Prioritize compassion over any other language
- Begin inwards to start advocating and spreading awareness
- Talk to a mental health counselor to identify the mental health needs of the community
Committing to doing these and even sharing your experience, if you have had it or continue to struggle with it, can be difficult—you may not even be ready to do so. However, it is a necessary process. Ask a provider of mental health care in North Carolina to help you get started.