Historical racism, oppression and violence makes it extremely difficult to access treatment and manage mental health illnesses.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being. (CDC)
Mental Health Stats
Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.
More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.3
1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.4
1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.5
1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.6
Racism and Mental Health
People of color and all those whose lives have been marginalized by those in power experience life differently from those whose lives have not been devalued. They experience overt racism and bigotry far too often, which leads to a mental health burden that is deeper than what others may face.
Racism is a mental health issue because racism causes trauma. And trauma paints a direct line to mental illnesses, which need to be taken seriously. (Source: Mental Health America)
Black And African American Communities And Mental Health