The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is launching a campaign to raise awareness for depression in the African-American community. Their press release cited statistics that 63% of African-Americans view depression as a “personal weakness”, that it disproportionately more African-American women that other groups (African-American men, Caucasian women), and that only 7% of African-American women with depression receive treatment.
“Black women are significantly impacted by mental health problems and yet are reluctant to acknowledge that depression is a serious, biologically-based disease,” said Altha Stewart, MD, president of the American Psychiatric Foundation, a founding member of the Depression Is Real Coalition. “Depression can be especially devastating because it is linked to other medical conditions experienced by black women in high numbers, including obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease. And, left untreated, depression can be fatal. We need to do all we can to encourage black women to confront their depression and ensure they get the health care they need.”
It is great to see this kind of effort being made at such high levels. I also hope that there is more of an internal government movement to find more funding for treatment, since affording and finding quality services is something that many people struggle with.