Mental illness is and has always been a serious topic. But it has not always been taken as serious in the black community. From my research, scholars and medical professionals in the field of mental health spoke on the fact that mental illness is a stigma in the black community and the conversation of this is not happening. There are many factors that contributed to this. Factors such as the distrust of medical professionals, mis-diagnosis, socio-economical factors and so much more contribute to the reason the black community is missed when it comes to mental health. I also discovered the inside factors that were culture, religion, mis-education, and family reliance. This also becomes why it is a stigma or why it’s not talked about amongst everyone in the community.
The internal wall that often keeps black men away from psychotherapy goes along with external barriers built just as high, if not higher. Mental health practitioners are overwhelmingly white, with the proportion of black psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychoanalysts estimated at less than three percent of the nation 's total. This would mean that even if black men were to break through the self-imposed barriers and seek professional help for mental issues, it may be difficult to find someone with whom they can build a rapport, and whom they feel can relate to them, and they can trust. This feeling of comfort is what allows a patient to reveal his most intimate secrets. As Dr. Richard Mouzon, a prominent black clinical psychologist puts it, "Many of us grow up feeling that it is dangerous to give up too much of yourself to the white man." There 's no denying that access to mental health care is restricted for Americans in general. In private health insurance policies and government medical assistance programs, psychotherapy is too often considered a luxury rather than a necessity. It has been said often times that the only people with a guaranteed
Self-pity and pessimistic attitudes remain a topic of discussion with a mentally ill patient, however the more valuable picture revolves around the stigma that the public holds towards those with a mental illness. Unrun Ozer, member of International Committee of National Journal Editors, acknowledges that, “Stigmatization is described as attributing someone in a way that would decrease the person’s reputation because the individual strays away from the general norms of the society” ( 225). Ozer clarifies that a stigma is an unfavorable viewpoint that society has on someone that is perceived as different. Those with a mental illness are susceptible to vulnerability because they are at a small disadvantage than the normal person. Negative connotations, such as adverse viewpoints and perplexing labels, affect the care and treatment process of those suffering because their compliance to treatment decreases. Society is too quick to judge and be ignorant if someone isn’t in perfect form, and Ozer reports, “ It has been reported that individuals with mental illnesses are seen by the society as dangerous, frightening, unstable, irresponsible, unpredictable, and having communication problems” (Ozer 225). Ozer declares that these labels are degrading to an individual with a mental illness, and cause feelings of introversion, decreased self-confidence, worthlessness, shame and despair. If we want happiness to be achievable for all, then criticizing individuals is a step in the wrong
A survey was conducted by Sherrill L. Sellers (Miami University of Ohio), Harold W. Neighbors, (University of Michigan), and Vence L. Bonham (Michigan State University) in order to address the interaction between goal-oriented stress and overall well being in 399 college-educated African American associated with a historically black national fraternal organization all over the world. Mental health of African American male populations is poorly understood due to unique social, racial, and psychological variables. Although many black men deem success possible, a great number identify resistance to success in the form of prejudice, discrimination, and minimal opportunities in comparison with their white counterpart.
Forget all the stereotypes of mental illness. It has no face. It has no particular victim. Mental illness can affect an individual from any background and the black community is no exception. African Americans sometimes experience even more severe forms of mental health conditions because of unmet needs and barriers to treatment. According to the Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. That’s why UGA third year Majenneh Sengbe is taking action as the co-founder of her upcoming organization Black Minds Daily.
The short documentary Crooked Beauty, directed by Ken Paul Rosenthal, narrates Jacks Ashley McNamara’s experience in a psychiatric ward and how her time in the facility shapes her new appreciation for her mental illness. One controversial issue has been trying to identify the true cause of mental illness. On the one hand, most people may think mental illness is simply a biological disorder that can be cured with a combination of medication and doctors demanding appropriate behavior until it sticks in the patient’s mind. On the other, McNamara contends that mental illness is a misconception with a patient’s oversensitivity, where it is harder for the patient to ignore certain events than “normal” people, and their doctor’s textbook knowledge. In McNamara’s mental institution, the psychiatrists simply trap her in a padded room and prescribe many different pills to suppress her mental illness instead of embracing her differences or showing her how to use those differences to her advantage. In attempt to prevent those who are mentally ill from feeling the same anger and frustration she felt, she demands a change in the line psychiatric treatment when she says:
Health care for mental illness is an issue in the African American community for Men, Women and Adolescents due to the underserving and lack of mental healthcare providers, the cultural stigma of having mental illness and
Depression is a major issue in the United States, yet some people still have to suffer. They suffer because the issue of depression is not taken serious and they have no help or support to get through their hard times. People of color are usually the ones to suffer. Mental health is stigmatized in the black community. Depression can impact all kinds of people that come from different paths of life, but it is expressed and addressed differently in the black community. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2011, 7.6% of African-Americans sought treatment for depression compared to 13.6% of the general population (Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity: A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General 2011). Why
Racism against African Americans and other ethnicities is still prevalent in our society. Salis (2015) mentions a recent poll of Caucasian and African Americans and found that sixty percent of those surveyed felt racial relationships ha vent improved and forty percent felt they were worse. In this paper, I will identify how a counselor can reduce the effects of racism and discrimination that has affected African Americans. Additionally, I will address what role a counselor plays in reducing the stigma of mental illness within the African American community. Furthermore, I will highlight the legal and ethical issues identified in the video
The lack of mental health care services for minorities is a long-standing problem in the United States. The first time the issue received attention was in 1985, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report that described serious health discrepancies that minority populations were enduring. In 1986, because of this report, the Office of Minority Health was formed to assist in the reduction of the health care shortages for
Historically, Black Americans have been reluctant to pursue mental health treatment. Bean (2007) details how cultural tensions, Black religiosity, gender role dynamics, and African American history with mental health has lead to current negative perceptions of counseling and psychological services in African American communities. Bean (2007) conducted this study by sampling 194 African American students of Tennessee State University and an additional 94 Black residents of a neighboring community of Nashville, TN. The author’s participants completed tests measuring Cultural Mistrust Inventory (CMI), Religious Orientation Scale (ROS), Gender Role Conflict Scale (GCRS) and Attitudes toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (ATSPPH). Ultimately, gender roles did significantly correlate to informing
As Metzl highlights, the misdiagnosing of schizophrenia was used as a tool of social control in the 1960s and 1970s. Racist bias structured in social and political institutions pathologized the unrest and anger felt by African American communities and thus incarcerated disproportionally high numbers of Black men under the guise of mental illness. Ultimately, this pathologizing of emotions felt by African American communities persists today. The manner in which Black men and women express anger is pathologized by society and it warps how the public perceives unrest in the Black community, especially in interactions between protestors and
When experiencing a mental illness, African Americans face obstacles “related to understanding the problem or situation and limitation in awareness of possible solutions, strategies remedies and resources” (Hines-Martin, Malone, Kim, & Brown-Piper, 2003). In a study by Hines-Martin (2003), participants verbalized that they did not think they were “crazy” and therefore did not need mental health services. In this instance participants showed a lack of knowledge about what mental health illness looks like. They identified mental illness as dichotomous states (Hines-Martin et al., 2003). A study by Mental Health America found similar results. In this study, a majority of African Americans surveyed believed that depression was a “health problem” and in some cases “normal” (MHA, 2012). Talking about mental illness is taboo for African Americans, and as a result they possess little knowledge about specific mental health problems or available treatments (Alvidrez et al., 2008). For African Americans, stigma serves as an impediment to problem recognition. Because they have a misconstrued idea of what mental illness is, they are less likely to contemplate that they have such problems. Alvidrez (2008) found that stigma prevented 65% of their survey respondents from contemplating that they had such problems. Because many African Americans are uninformed about what mental illness is and how it
In fact, most feel as though their illness places them on the outskirts of society. Not only do they suffer the symptoms of their mental illness, but they also have to suffer the repercussions, the circumstances, and the labels that surround their diagnosis. In some cases, they are told it is doubtful that they will be able to hold a job or maintain stable relationships. In her memoir, Saks states,
Green herself was misjudged with the stigma of “just doing it for attention” (Green, 2005) by a psychiatrist in regards to her self-injuring tendencies, however, she found a supportive nurse practitioner who understood her mental disorder and found her a medication regimen that helped her to manage her symptoms and allowed her to function. Having someone who understands BPD beyond its stigma shows to be very beneficial to the recovery process, especially in seeking help, Green also mentioned she found another woman who was going through the feelings she was experiencing, they helped each other in crisis and were there for each other, even to the day she wrote her piece (Green, 2005). Finally, Green mentions the significant role her family played in her recovery, how her mother researched everything about her mental illness, the details of her daughter’s diagnosis and her medication (2005). Furthermore, the rest of Green’s family was said to have done everything they could to stand by her and encouraged her to regain her strength (Green, 2005). She expresses her sentiment towards her family’s support, writing “I never understood the value of family until I saw what they all went through for me.” (Green,