Why does this matter?
A quick visit to the Health & Human Services Department’s Minority Mental Health Statistics page for African Americans drives home some scary points right away:
- Poverty level affects mental health status. African Americans living below the poverty level, as compared to those over twice the poverty level, are 3 times more likely to report psychological distress.
- African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Non-Hispanic Whites.
- Non-Hispanic Whites are more than twice as likely to receive antidepressant prescription treatments as are Non-Hispanic Blacks.
- The death rate from suicide for African American men was almost four times that for African American women, in 2009.
- However, the suicide rate for African Americans is 60% lower than that of the Non-Hispanic White population.
- A report from the U.S. Surgeon General found that from 1980 – 1995, the suicide rate among African Americans ages 10 to 14 increased 233%, as compared to 120% of Non-Hispanic Whites.1
I’ll give you a few minutes to read those statistics over and realize what they mean. Then I want to highlight two specifically.
“Non-Hispanic Whites are TWICE as likely to receive a prescription for antidepressants than Non-Hispanic Blacks.”
“African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Non-Hispanic Whites.”
Taking those two statements alone, African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Non-Hispanic Whites BUT are less likely to receive a prescription which would help them deal with said psychological distress.
How is that even close to okay?
Mental health affects more than our minds, too. It affects several systems in our bodies with the stress it causes, it affects quality of life, it affects everything. Without it, we are not complete.
So join me tonight as we chat with the fantastic @addyeB, as she, in her own words, will be:
“…sharing what it’s been like for me, as a woman of color, to fight through & recover from a postpartum mood disorder. I’ll be talking about the stigma surrounding mental illness in minority communities and how it impacts awareness, education, and folks seeking treatment…barriers to treatment/access to resources in our communities…and various resources that women of color can find and use for support-especially online. I’ll also be asking other women of color to share their experiences and ask questions as well.”
It’s gonna be a good chat, y’all.
Look forward to seeing you there!