University of Florida Professor Launches Research Project to Improve Mental Health of Black Americans
Dr. Carolyn Tucker, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida, has launched a research project to improve the mental health of Black Americans.
A 2019 National Healthcare Disparities Report found that 69% of Black Americans with mental health issues do not receive treatment. In 2018, 62% of mental healthcare professionals were reported to be white, a factor that often prevents Black people from seeking professional help due to systematic racism in the healthcare industry.
Dr. Tucker is also a professor of community health and family medicine and is working to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health therapy.
“As a clinical psychologist, I see many Black people struggling with stress and feelings of isolation,” said Dr. Tucker.
“They often want therapists who look like them. We’re empowering communities to take care of their mental health. We’re creating an infrastructure of community members who can work with others.”
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“Dr. Tucker’s two research teams (the Behavioral Medicine Research Team and the Health Psychology Research Team) help implement her ambitious research agenda by conducting community participatory, qualitative, and quantitative research to promote health and culturally sensitive healthcare in racial/ethnic minority, low-income, and medically underserved communities.”
The data collected during the project will help determine how to better manage stress in the Black community. It will also bring awareness to the healthcare industry to address the need to make finding treatment easier for people of color by employing a diverse staff.