Mental health has long carried a stigma within the Black community that has prevented many from seeking out medical treatment.
According to a 2018 report by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide was ranked as the tenth-leading cause of death in the United States with close to 50,000 deaths recorded in that year alone. In 2019 study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found a 33% increase in suicide deaths across all age, race, ethnic groups from 1999 to 2017. Within that timeframe, data showed a 73% percent increase in suicide attempts by Black youths.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. In conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Week, BLACK ENTERPRISE will be introducing Mental Health Awareness Week, which includes a series of profiles, insightful guides, and resources pertaining to fighting the stigma of mental health within the Black community.
Black Americans are more likely to experience trauma from racial encounters more than other ethnic groups. It is time to fight against the stigma by creating more safe spaces for those suffering to share their experiences. In light of the recent string of Black deaths by the hands of police officers—which have sparked nationwide protests in the midst of a deadly pandemic—it is imperative now more and than ever to take care of your mental health needs.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental health-related issues, please contact one of the organizations below for more guidance on how to seek out treatment.
Mental Health America
Center for Black Women Wellness
Therapy for Black Men Provider Directory
Therapy for Black Girls Provider Directory
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
Black Virtual Therapist Directory
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
Black Girl Smile
Black Mental Health Alliance