Little to no access, lack of trust, and stigma around mental health plague Black American communities all over the country. Moreover, the oppression and killings of Black men and women cause unprecedented trauma and distress for the whole community. This systemic racism has given rise to mental health issues that require immediate and urgent attention.
According to a study, the likelihood of mental health issues in Black Americans is 20% more than the rest of the population in the United States. Moreover, it can be a real struggle to deal with the traumatizing news stories every day as everyone grapples with personal experiences of law enforcement brutality. Besides this, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 has also taken its toll on people of color.
Many Black Americans have suicidal thoughts because of the racism and brutality they experience in society. In 2019, suicide became the second major cause of death among young Black Americans between 15-24 years old.
While men face trouble at workplaces, Black women are also simultaneously dented by sexism and racism; this puts them under pressure to conceal their genuine emotions, channeled negatively onto others. The current times have made it pivotal to address the mental health issues of Black Americans even though they are resistant to therapy.
Why Is There A Need To Redefine Mental Health For Black Americans?
A 2013 study proves that people of color are more resistant to finding help and therapy than other races. However, instead of using this fact to ignore their mental health, you can try to understand the context of their resistance. It is essential to create spaces to share their traumas and current feelings.
There is a need for treatments that the Black community understands, is culturally responsive, and embraces the individuality of every person’s difference.
Individuals are more likely to practice a therapy that they understand and believe in; this is why alternative therapy has gained traction over traditional therapy. It has opened doors for people who struggled to deal with their mental health issues and were reluctant to see a therapist or couldn’t afford one.
Moreover, there has been a shortage of therapists in some regions for years. However, the deficit has only become more prominent in the last 20 months. This insufficiency is because the number of individuals who need help with mental health is growing exponentially because of social isolation, health concerns, political tension, and racial discrimination. As a result, few therapists are qualified to deal with the rising number of Americans with anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.
Alternative therapy gives everyone an equal chance to work on and improve their mental health.
While mental health care still has to go a long way to become universal, psychologists make every possible effort to craft various promising solutions. Individual therapies can help black men address these issues without going to a therapist in person.
Therapy Resources For Black Americans Mental Health
Every little effort made to support each other in these challenging times can go a long way. Many support groups, community help, and national networks work dedicatedly to facilitate Black men’s mental health and well-being.
Here are a few of these alternative therapy resources.
Therapy programs use various mediums to help people talk about their parenthood stressors, workplace problems, self-doubt, childhood trauma, pandemic upheaval, relationship issues. One such program is the St. Louis website, Dear Fathers. It is a unique form of therapy designed to help black men and women during quarantine.
Outreach Through Technology And Social Media
Therapists are also using this digital age and reaching people through apps and social media. They are even using celebrities like Ariana Grande to boost their cause. Moreover, several therapists embrace TikTok to post 60-second clips about setting boundaries and self-esteem.
Yoga And Meditation
Some therapists are even redefining mental health through yoga and meditation. It helps take your mind off things that constantly keep the minds of Blacks racing.
Mental health care should be accessible to every individual. Black Americans are already struggling in these challenging times, and it’s time to take a little burden off their shoulders. While not everyone has therapists nearby, they can tackle it by approaching alternative therapy. They can use therapy programs, yoga, meditation. These resources can help Black Americans redefine their mental health and have a regular and peaceful life again.