The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that “although anyone can develop a mental health problem, African Americans sometimes experience more severe forms of mental health conditions due to unmet needs and other barriers.”
According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. Issues such as discrimination, past trauma – often passed from generation to generation unless nipped in the bud, poverty, violence and the pressures of being sole providers – can exacerbate depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Another imperative mention is the lack of adequate mental health facilities, distrust for medical providers, mental health providers not being properly educated or versed in treating the African-American community, and the disproportionate amount of Blacks that are under-insured or not insured at all. Therapy and medication are quite expensive.
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All of the aforementioned notions coupled with the need for many blacks in the community to put up a façade of being strong when in fact they are dying inside adds fuel to the fire. In order to conquer the demons that lay before us, we need to acknowledge its existence and take the steps needed to heal ourselves and help each other.
Scroll through to learn about six black celebrities that suffer from mental illness: