Mental Health Crisis in the African American Community

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Mental illness is an increasing problem in America. Currently about 26.2% of Americans suffer from a mental disorder. A mental illness/disorder is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to relate to others and daily functions. Mental illness can affect humans of any age, race, gender and socioeconomic status. However the care that is needed to effectively cure and help the people affected by the illness is not equal for everyone here in American, especially for African Americans. Health care for mental illness is an issue in the African American community for Men, Women and Adolescents due to the underserving and lack of mental healthcare providers, the cultural stigma of having mental illness and the socioeconomic status of African Americans. The African American community is suffering with the issue of inadequate mental health care for many decades. There is a deep lack of understanding about what mental illness is and there are many barriers that hinder African Americans from receiving the care that they need. People are unaware of the effects of mental illness, and what mental illness can encompass. “Most importantly, mental health includes people’s feelings of worth in the context of the total cultural and societal system as well as within the identifiable groups to which they belong.” (Snowden, 165) The experience you receive as a race and how you perceive your race is apart of mental illness. Many African American people look down upon their race due to socioeconomic hierarchy that society has given people. African American’s are at high risk to developing mental illness. Healthcare providers have misdiagnosed many African Americans due to lack of knowledge. “African Americans in ... ... middle of paper ... ...3. Abstract. EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. . NAMI. "African American Community Mental Health." NAMI. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. . Snowden, Lonnie R. Barriers to Effective Mental Health Services for African Americans. N.p.: n.p., 2001. Print. Mental Health Services Research 4. Stagman, Shannon, and Janice L. Cooper. "Children's Mental Health." Ed. Columbia University. Columbia University, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. . Ward, Earlise C. African American Women's Beliefs about Mental Illness, Stigma, and Preferred Coping Behaviors. Madison: Wiley Periodicals, 2009. Print. Willie, Charles V., Bernard M. Kramer, and Bertram S. Brown, eds. Racism Racism Racism and Mental Health. N.p.: Univerity of Pittsburgurgh Press, 1973. Print. Contemporary Community Health Series.
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