Today marks World Mental Health Day – a day observed to spread mental health education, awareness, and to advocate against stigmatization. The whole month of October is also dedicated to mental health awareness.
In African and African-American societies, awareness can be low in priority while stigmatization is high on the list of fails towards understanding mental illness and helping those who suffer from it.
One notion can be the “pray it away” or “if you have God, you can overcome” narrative. Some mental health issues require medication, hospitalization, talk-therapy or a various combination of all. Being educated about the matter is not only empowering, but it can also bring about empathy for others, help lessen the falsities associated with mental illness and help those suffering from any mental challenges seek the help they need.
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The Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health states that African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general public.
Issues such as homelessness, exposure to violence and perceived racism are some factors that can worsen the effects of mental health illness in African Americans.
There are degrees to the magnitude and type of mental illnesses. Depending on the type and severity, different methods will be prescribed to alleviate the issue.
Nevertheless, there are some things a person can do to build and sustain their mental fortitude.
Keep reading to learn more: