The African American Presence in the Mental Health Field

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The current research in which this learner has reviewed regarding AAs seeking clinical help for mental maladies perceives that members of this particular race do not really go to hospitals. The National Alliance on Mental Illnesses (NAMI) released the following statements about mental health care for AAs:
• Culture biases against mental health professionals and health care professionals in general prevent many African Americans from accessing care due to prior experiences with historical misdiagnoses, inadequate treatment and a lack of cultural understanding; only 2 percent of psychiatrists, 2 percent of psychologists and 4 percent of social workers in the United States are African American.
• African Americans tend to rely on family, religious and social communities for emotional support rather than turning to health care professionals, even though this may at times be necessary. The health care providers they seek may not be aware of this important aspect of person life (African American Community Mental Health Fact Sheet, n.d.).
Although equal opportunities for all races were obtained years ago, the profession of mental health lacks strong AA presence, which is a very probable cause for the lack of AA patient care. Historically, AAs have succumbed to the oppression of the Caucasian race by fighting to meet standards that they have set through education and profession. So, in this researcher’s views, the study of specifics in AA lifestyles is either looked away or viewed negatively by other ethnicities. These attitudes are shown in doctors’ visits and medical treatments in which increased unexplained side effect.
Negative Views about AAs
People of African descent have been viewed negatively by European descendants since the e...

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Pinkham, A. E., PhD., et al. (2008). The other-race effect in face processing among african american and caucasian individuals with schizophrenia. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(5), 639-45. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/220477743?accountid=27965.
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