No comments yet

Mental & Behavioral Health – Black American Issues

Mental and Behavioral Health
Black American Issues

  • In 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Black Americans, ages 15 to 24.
  • The death rate from suicide for Black American men was four times greater than for Black American women, in 2018.
  • The overall suicide rate for Black Americans was 60 percent lower than that of the non-Hispanic white population, in 2018.
  • Black females, grades 9-12, were 60 percent more likely to attempt suicide in 2019, as compared to non-Hispanic white females of the same age.
  • Poverty level affects mental health status. Black Americans living below the poverty level, as compared to those over twice the poverty level, are twice as likely to report serious psychological distress.
  • A report from the U.S. Surgeon General found that from 1980 – 1995, the suicide rate among African Americans ages 10 to 14 increased 233 percent, as compared to 120 percent of non-Hispanic whites.
  • Black American people are more often diagnosed with schizophrenia and less often diagnosed with mood disorders compared to white people with the same symptoms. Additionally, they are offered medication or therapy at the lower rates than the general population.
  • Because less than 2 percent of American Psychological Association members are Black American, some may worry that mental health care practitioners are not culturally competent enough to treat their specific issues.
  • Stigma and judgment prevent Black American people from seeking treatment for their mental illnesses. Research indicates that Black Americans believe that mild depression or anxiety would be considered “crazy” in their social circles. Furthermore, many believe that discussions about mental illness would not be appropriate even among family.

The statistics above were drawn the websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and Mental Health America.

Post a comment