Welcome to the Black Mental Health Hub!
Mental health affects everyone from all walks of life, regardless of race or ethnicity. Each person experiences mental health differently.
For Black people, mental health hits us in an even more unique way.
We face a unique set of stressors each day — centered on our racial identity — that disproportionally makes us more vulnerable to mental health conditions.
Racism, discrimination, and the lack of access to mental health services in our communities aren’t the only obstacles we face. Shame and stigma about mental health still exist in Communities of Color, which prevents us from even discussing mental health.
When I was growing up, we didn’t talk about mental well-being in my household. Sure, we had that cousin who had “bad nerves” or that aunt who “wasn’t right in the head.” We heard whispers at family reunions and holidays of why they were missing, but all of it was pretty hush, hush.
Not until I was older did I realize that my cousin was living with anxiety and that aunt who “wasn’t right in the head” was living with schizophrenia. Those absences from holidays and family get-togethers were because she was in an in-patient facility receiving care for her condition.
Mental health is a concern for all of us. And one of the first steps to healing is to talk about it — in our homes, at the dinner table, and in our classrooms.
Learning more about what mental health is and how it uniquely affects us as a people is crucial to making that happen.
Yes, racism and discrimination are factors that are important to discuss. But how they affect our mental health is just as important.
The stress of learning to cope with the daily insults and microaggressions, the racially-motivated violence, and the healthcare professionals not believing us when we say “we don’t feel good” can open our bodies and minds to disease and harm.
By prioritizing our mental health and learning all we can, we can help destigmatize mental health in our communities and our households.
This hub offers a place for you to explore how stress, racism, and stigma affect our mental health, and what we can do to heal as a people.
The healing starts with us, and we at Psych Central invite you to start that journey here.