For Stressed-Out Black Americans, Mental Health Care Often Hard to Come By

June 26, 2020

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Medical Xpress

Despite widespread stress and trauma, Black people may be less likely to receive mental health diagnoses. Experts say the reasons for that are complex. Mental health conditions, such as depression, may present differently in Black people than White people, which some providers may not be trained to recognize. There are also numerous barriers to receiving mental health care in Black communities, including cost, access to specialists, and cultural norms, such as prejudice against mental health and distrust of providers. Increasing diversity in the mental health workforce could help ensure access to culturally competent care in Black communities. “We need a greater investment in the mental health infrastructure for people of color,” said David Fakunle, an associate faculty member in mental health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Fakunle encouraged Black people to talk about what they have been through, both the trauma and the resilience that has come from it. 

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