What you think you understand about African Americans and mental health may be dead wrong. This might be difficult to accept, particularly because African Americans have taken pride in the myths about our mental health. We believe that mental health is controlled by willpower, faith and even our race. Even experts align with these misguided beliefs, ultimately affecting the way we view mental health in our community and how we take care of ourselves.
Several national studies and leading researchers are now describing African-American mental health as more complex than once considered and, these patterns are critical to not only understanding mental health, but may also be the key to improving our overall well-being.
Looking at the current reports might help to demystify these false beliefs.
• Myth #1: African Americans are less likely to have mental health disorders than other ethnic minorities.
Though African Americans still only account for about 3% of the national population with serious mental illness, we now understand that numbers are not clear indicators of mental health in this population. Access to care, low help seeking, misdiagnosis, and delivery of care are all major factors affecting how minority mental health is accounted for and understood. Simply put, is an African-American male more likely to get a mental health diagnosis in the mental health system or the judicial system? Or, when your teenage daughter starts telling you she’s hearing voices do you share this information with her pediatrician or with her pastor?
• Myth #2: African Americans are “strong” and can handle stress.
Though only thirty-one percent of African-Americans believe that depression is a health problem, most would agree that physical ailments are drastically affecting our community. Dr. James S. Jackson, of the University of Michigan, has identified coping skills as key elements in understanding health disparities. According to Jackson, while behaviors like smoking, drug use, and consuming comfort foods may serve as negative coping skills in White Americans, these same behaviors may buffer African-Americans from developing mental health disorders consequently contributing to disproportionate rates of physical health problems like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. It seems self- medicating may play a significant role in helping African-Americans to function in stressful environments but clearly to the detriment of our health.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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