To talk about mental health in the African American community is to understand the historical dehumanization and oppression they have experienced as a people, which evolved into the structural and institutional racism they face today.
As a provider of mental health service in Raleigh, North Carolina, it is clear to us at Breaking Barriers Wellness & Counseling that attempting to qualify every experience of the African American community is impossible. And while numbers do not show the full picture of the matter, it can offer a brief look into the state of their mental health in the US.
To start with, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)’s public online data analysis system, of the 13.4% self-identified Blacks or African Americans in the US, over 16% reported having a mental illness in 2018. Translated to actual figures, this is over 7 million people.
However, per the Mental Health America (MHA), although a greater percentage of African Americans tend to seek help than not, their actual help-seeking behaviors are severely affected by their mistrust in the medical system. This causes them to seek faith-based interventions first.
On the bright side, a Black mental health counselor is known to be more effective in giving the appropriate care for Black help-seekers.
We welcome this news as a provider of mental health care in North Carolina as we practice treatments and interventions led by our trusted therapists and counselors.
These said, it is crucial to remember that the picture painted by this information doesn’t even begin to cover the disparities that the community faces. Every day, we must continue our fight to make an equalized society. So if you are looking for dependable counseling, allow our African American therapist to help you.