“Bear Our Pain”: The Plea for More Black Mental Health Workers

August 07, 2020

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


As COVID-19 and police violence take a toll on Black communities, advocates are calling for more culturally competent mental health care. Black Americans are more likely to be misdiagnosed and less likely to receive effective mental health treatment than their White peers. Non-Black providers may not understand the emotional experience of Black patients, causing them to misread their symptoms. Increasing the numbers of Black mental health professionals could help address these trends. “I do think changing the workforce and changing the face of the workforce is probably the most critical thing that we can do now to start to address some of these issues,” said Dr. Ruth Shim, a psychiatrist at the University of California at Davis.

Spark Extra! Learn about suicide among Black populations and culturally competent approaches.