The Black community, especially children, experience unique barriers to mental health

Numerous dynamics contribute to fewer Black children and adolescents receiving mental health treatment. Logistical, psychological, and systemic factors come together to create conditions that make it harder to seek help. A lack of social support and cultural stigma surrounding mental health can prevent children from seeking treatment.

Perhaps more importantly, structural barriers have an even greater effect. Poverty limits access to care and the quality of that care. The location of mental health treatment centers, fluctuating insurance status, and the high cost of care are all impediments that many in Black communities face.

Resilience, a quality often attributed to Black communities, is a complicated presence throughout this all. The tenaciousness of survival can be seen in communal settings like church and other branches of community culture. While this ability to overcome seems a wholly positive presence, the idea of “resiliency” can too often put the responsibility to get better on the individual. A growing acceptance of “it’s okay to not be okay” may help to undo the status quo of keeping quiet on mental health issues for Black children.