By Natalie Cort, Ph.D., guest contributor Black History Month is an important and necessary time to showcase the many accomplishments of African-Americans/Black individuals, but as we recognize Black History Month, we must acknowledge that the limited numbers of mental health professionals from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds prevents ubiquitous implicit negative biases about people of color, resulting from America’s historical and contemporary racialized inequities, from being challenged and dismantled. Research shows more than 6.8 million self-identified African-Americans/Black individuals had a diagnosable mental illness in the past year, which is more people than the populations of Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia combined1. As a consequence of historical institutional discrimination and marginalization, African-Americans experience socioeconomic disparities, such as homelessness, poverty, incarceration or substance abuse, that can increase their risk for mental illness. Despite the obvious need for care, there is an absence of competent and compassionate care for all people. More specifically, an absence of adequate mental health care for racial/ethnic minority communities. Students in the Black Mental Health Graduate Academy at William James College Source: William James College African-Americans in need of mental health care are frequently reluctant to seek treatment, due to fears about mental health professionals’ abilities to provide culturally competent care2…. Read full this story
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