Mental health awareness and care are essential for everyone. However, there is an increased stigma surrounding mental health care for African American youth. According to data collected from respondents to a recent survey, African American youth is especially prone to developing mental health problems. However, they are just as likely not to seek and receive any sort of mental health care for it, which they actually require.
Hence, it is essential to break the stigma surrounding mental health care for African Americans. It is crucial to help the youth reach out to specialized African American psychotherapists for the care they deserve. Therefore, in order to play our part in breaking the stigma, we have compiled reasons as to why targeted mental health care for African American youth is important. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Historical Dehumanization & Oppression of the African Americans
We all are well aware of the dehumanization, oppression, and violence the African American people had to face in the past. Hence, there is no doubt that the historical actions of the past have transpired to modern-day racism. Such racial instances are so deeply institutionalized that even the newer generations can’t exist beyond the less affluent experiences faced by their community.
With racial disparity becoming an increasing part of our society’s system, the historical oppression and violence faced by the African American community must be addressed rightfully. Because this increases the hope of eventual acceptance and need of mental health care for the youth without their own community members looking down upon them for taking care of their mental health.
Modern-day violence against the African American Community
The recent BLM movement (Black Lives Matter), followed by the violent act of oppression against a black man, went viral, shows how essential it is for the African American youth to have quality mental health care. African American psychotherapists state this as an obvious enough reason for parents to instill the importance of mental health and speaking up in their children so that they don’t harbor negative thoughts that may harm them.
Moreover, help-seeking behavior shouldn’t be looked down upon due to the general mistrust of the authorities like health systems. There are dedicated channels like African American psychotherapists and other mental health professionals specializing in catering to their community members. They are known to provide a more targeted approach for African American youth and effectively handle help-seeking for the adult workforce.
More Structural Identification for African American Youth
Seeking mental health care by African American youth is vital for their personal identity. Due to the reasons, we discussed above and many other cultural notions included, the youth has been a target of continuous confusion regarding their own identity, especially for mixed-race children who cannot identify themselves with either side of the society and end up with symptoms of mental health issues.
Therefore, for them to live a perfectly normal life and have a concurrent answer as to what is their racial identity, even gender identity is greatly essential. A targeted approach by African American psychotherapists can greatly help reduce anxiety and depression as well as other mental health issues early on in the African American youth. So that they grow up to be informed adults who are at peace with their racial identity – whatever it may be.
Issues like systematic racism, mistrust of authorities, and other modern-day disparities have cost the African American youth their time and mental health awareness. It is high time these stigmas are broken, and people realize how truly important it is for Black youth to be empowered and encouraged to seek mental health care.
Moreover, educating the black community adults about African American mental health care is absolutely important as it will raise awareness in people who can then encourage the newer generations to step out of the stigma and seek help. They will eventually stop looking down upon help-seeking behavior and encourage it to realize how tremendous the results are and how many people are truly working towards the cause.
One such national movement is BMM. Black Minds Matter is a national movement to celebrate Black minds, support excellence, and promote the development of high-quality school options for Black students. Believe that our essence and our being deserve life? Please donate to us!