According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. Common mental health disorders among African Americans include depression, ADHD, suicide and PTSD, which are often rooted in socioeconomic conditions like poverty, homelessness and violence. Because many African Americans perceive mental illness and depression as personal weaknesses, they are less likely to seek professional medical treatment.
Observing Mental Health Month helps us understand mental health and dispel some of the common misconceptions about mental health conditions. Removing the stigma attached to mental illness can help many people feel less shame so they can seek the help they need.
If you or someone you love is suffering from depression and/or mental illness, please know that help is available.