Debunking the Biggest Mental Health Myths in the Black Community

Hint: You cannot pray depression away

Addressing mental health in our community is a touchy subject—and it shouldn’t be given how many African Americans are suffering from a form depression and anxiety or mental illness such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. In addition, due to the multitudes of oppression and trauma we encounter on a daily basis—racism; police, community and sexual violence; sexism; poverty; higher rates of PTSD and homelessness; and homophobia—black folks have higher levels of psychological distress. We are also more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness than are whites.

Yet in spite of these eye-opening stats, studies show we are less likely to receive the care we so desperately need. While our disconnect to mental health treatment can be blamed on lack of access to health care and the closing