How is mental health perceived among black communities?

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Author
marco-ricci
6 May 2020

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As a young white male, I feel I have at least some grasp on how mental health and mental illness is seen among white communities. There is a general acceptance of the importance of mental wellbeing, yet there remains a reluctance to openly discuss mental illness or conditions. 

Over the years and through many discussions with members of black communities, I am under the impression that mental wellbeing is treated differently. Some people have told me it's not taken as seriously as white communities, while some others have gone as far as to tell me it's a 'white' problem. 

My question is for black community members: how does your community perceive mental wellbeing and mental disorders? 

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Posted 1 year ago

I can kick this off... Definitely a taboo.. We always see it as a "White" problem and this of course clashes with our "Just get on with it" way of thinking. This IMO has resulted in many toxic generation behaviors in black culture with very negative outcomes. We think we must always be strong so that we are not appearing weak to anyone else. This is mentally crippling because lots of time we are not able to exhale and process what we are dealing with and this results in poorer mental health - to answer your question we see it as weak and something we can brush under the table when that is far from right!

Posted 1 year ago

The fact that we are stronger makes us less of a priority when we do seek help. It also causes many of us to internalise mental and physical health, which has caused many of us to implode.

Posted 1 year ago

I don

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Posted 1 year ago

I think that within our communities mental health for such a long time has been a thing that "white people say". Its something that in all honest from my experience, has not been taken seriously because as a people we have been through so much its almost as if we havent been allowed to stop. Take in whats happening. Proceed with the right steps. We have to be "strong" and work through our issues with only God and family to support. When now its like hold on a lot of us need threapy added to the mix! I think were other races were introduced to mental health by way of education, for black communities it is still quite alien and only now (thankfully) am i seeing it discussed more openly and freely. I'm almost 30.

Posted 1 year ago

Unfortunately we know that black people are more likely than our white counterparts to experience mental health problems and on top of that more likely to be sectioned too. A lot of what contributes to it are social economic inequalities, structural racism, the criminal justice system and mental health stigma. All these combine to undermine how black people can access mental health service and how mental health services then respond to the needs of people in black communities. The stigma attached to mental health illnesses coupled with the fact that a lot of people that are likely to have these issues also are experiencing other (often deemed more urgent) challenges such as poverty, homelessness, possibly violence etc means that addressing mental health can be deprioritised. Additionally, black experience with an often prejudiced mental health system that has meant that treatments subscribed to us can be unnecessarily reliant on medication and restrictive (sectioning). This has then made us wary of reaching out. It

Posted 1 year ago

From personal experience of seeing peoples attitudes to mental health in the black community shift to more positive way. Growing up I was aware of and I was exposed to poor mental health in my family. It was almost accepted that some people were

Posted 1 year ago

I agree with Shirene that the perception of Mental health in the Black community is changing , still some work todo around Stigma and discrimination that people experience when they disclose they have mental health issues particularly Psychosis A useful way to challenge stigma and discrimination is raising our own awareness and knowledge so we start to understand mental health disorders mental health issues are part of our life journey . We also need to understand that the experience of discrimination and racism that the black community experience adversely affect mental health . I also agree we need to provide more support to young people who are experiencing Trauma through adverse experiences through gun and knife crime

Posted 1 year ago

My question is for black community members: how does your community perceive mental wellbeing and mental disorders? I think people are changing their way of thinking on mental health which is good, before people in the community of Moss Side seen it as a negative and didn't like the term mental health, after a lot of education, people are more clear that we all have mental health, its not a negative. I do think we need to do some work around helping people to open up more and speak .

Posted 1 year ago

Sorry seems to be a glitch that sends a message to everyone but my question is what is actually being done? does anyone know?