According to a study by Psychiatric Services, minority students are less diagnosed with mental illnesses than white students, but the suicide attempt rate of minorities compared to their white counterparts were fairly equal. The study also shows that those who identify as multiracial or Asian/Pacific Islander were more likely to admit that they felt hopelessness, too depressed to function, and overwhelmed with anger. Why is this? Dr. Monnica Williams wrote a great piece on why this occurs.
Stigma and Judgment
Many in the African American community have negative attitudes toward people who obtain mental health care, even from those who have mental disorders themselves. Some may see it as airing out “dirty laundry” or that it will reflect badly on their families. Whatever the case may be, it is important to end the stigma around mental health.
Concerns about Treatment and Therapy Overall
Many African Americans are concerned about the treatment not working and they see therapy as a luxury for white people. This mindset leads to a lack of proper mental health treatment.
The Expense of Therapy and Lack of Insurance
Due to lower incomes, a reduced amount of employment opportunities, and lack of private insurance, many African Americans are concerned with the financial burden of seeking help.