African American Mental Health Essay

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In today's modern society, mental health has gradually become part of many discussions within the public. More and more resources are being provided for those struggling with mental health difficulties, but African Americans are one of the major demographics who lack support. Black communities are less likely to access mental health services for multiple factors, but the most significant justifications are financial burdens that influence them to not seek access, stigmas caused by years of cultural differences, and barriers such as discrimination from society. If mental health in African American communities is not addressed, it could disintegrate the communities mental health further until irreversible. With that being acknowledged, health …show more content…

These barriers stem from years and years of racial discrimination, and cultural differences. Mental health stresses originate from different everyday exposures for African Americans, including economic disparities, and racial discrimination. Michael Starr, Hopkins speak about his experiences as African American, where he endured the stresses that multiple individuals of the Black community face consistently: Racial oppression. Hopkins would leave the house everyday, not knowing whether he would make it home. He advocates the negative view of Black men, ̈threatening, aggressive, and sometimes less than human—depending on where we live and who we interact with¨ (End the Stigma on Black Men Suffering from Depression). With Hopkins' experience, the negative views of many African Americans have feared him not being accepted into society unless they assimilate into the accepted culture. Blacks are often victims of racial discrimination, which is also one of the leading factors why many feel less motivated to speak out about their mental health needs. Significantly seen in Black communities, experiences of racism of their ancestors, and recent events such as police brutality events to multiple African Americans, it causes the community to distrust the mental health care services provided, and this is noted by Thomas A. Vance, a PhD who studied “factors associated with lower utilization of mental health care among the Black community. Lack of trust in the medical system due to historical abuses of Black people in the guise of health care… and past history with discrimination in the mental health system” If an African American were to think to seek help for their mental health, they would have to think otherwise if they are being diagnosed realistically, or being discriminated

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