Learn More. Or in a crisis , text "NAMI" to Donate Now. While the experience of being Black in America varies tremendously, there are shared cultural factors that play a role in helping define mental health and supporting well-being, resiliency and healing. Part of this shared cultural experience — family connections, values, expression through spirituality or music, reliance on community and religious networks — are enriching and can be great sources of strength and support.
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Black History Month, celebrated in February each year, is a time to recognize the central role African Americans have played in the United States in both the past and the present and to recognize and celebrate their achievements. Mental illness, without any further distinction, affects one in four Americans. However, African Americans are disproportionately more likely to experience mental health issues and social stigma. Historical adversity, which includes slavery, sharecropping, and race-based exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources, translates into socioeconomic disparities experienced by African Americans today. African American mental health statistics show that socioeconomic status, in turn, is linked to mental health: People who are impoverished, homeless, incarcerated or have substance abuse problems are at higher risk for poor mental health. Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background.
By Joshua Gordon on September 22, Each September, people in the U. As director of the National Institute of Mental Health NIMH , I have made suicide prevention one of my top priorities, and although I have written about suicide in the past, I wanted to revisit this topic to bring attention to this critical area of concern. One often overlooked aspect of the rising rates of suicide in the U.
However, the historical Black and African American experience in America has and continues to be characterized by trauma and violence more often than for their White counterparts and impacts emotional and mental health of both youth and adults. See prevalence statistics below. Historical dehumanization, oppression, and violence against Black and African American people has evolved into present day racism - structural, institutional, and individual — and cultivates a uniquely mistrustful and less affluent community experience, characterized by a myriad of disparities including inadequate access to and delivery of care in the health system.