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Black Mental Health Matters: Facts, resources, tips for allies

Know the facts about Black mental health

Higher prevalence: Adult Black / African Americans are 20% more likely to report serious psychological distress than white adults.

More likely to attempt suicide: Black/African American teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than are white teenagers (8.3 percent v. 6.2 percent).

Less likely to receive care: As of 2015, among those with mental illness, 48% of Whites are receiving the services they need compared to 31% of Blacks.

Microaggressions and mental health: Higher frequencies of racial microaggressions negatively predict mental health and racial microaggressions are significantly correlated with depression.

Disparities in care quality: African Americans often receive poorer quality of care and lack access to culturally competent care. Compared with the general population, African Americans are less likely to be offered either evidence-based medication therapy or psychotherapy.

Barriers to mental health care for African Americans

  • Stigma

  • Distrust of the healthcare system

  • Lack of diverse providers

  • Lack of culturally competent providers

  • Lack of insurance, underinsurance

Counseling and therapy resources for Black Americans

Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM) Collective. “A collective of advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists and activists committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities.”

Black Girls Smile. “Ensuring all young African American females receive the resources and support necessary to lead mentally healthy lives.”

Black Mental Health Alliance. “Mission: To develop, promote and sponsor trusted culturally-relevant educational forums, trainings and referral services that support the health and well-being of Black people and other vulnerable communities.” The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. Mission: Eradicate the stigma around mental health in the African American community Inclusive Therapists. Inclusive therapist directory, online trainings and workshops, and inclusive mental health events. The Loveland Foundation. Therapy fund uses donations to fund mental health services for Black women and girls. My Brother’s Keeper. My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative of the Obama administration, aims to unite and amplify the voices of black men through mentorship.

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network. A healing justice organization that actively works to transform mental health for queer and trans people of color in North America.

The Safe Place App. Mental Health app geared toward the Black community. App features include: Black mental health statistics, inspirational black quotes, self-care tips

Therapy for Black Girls. A space for Black women developed to navigate mental health in an accessible and relevant manner.

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