Mental Health among the African-American Community



African Americans are termed in communities at significant risk and are known to suffer psychiatric weaknesses. To better appreciate the obstacles stopping African Americans from accessing appropriate psychological health care. This research examines the obstacles and consequences for clinical findings on several device levels. This thesis also examines the significance of traumatic events and its influence. Rationalization, discrimination, racial prejudice, racial distrust, informal assistance, shortage of African American practitioners, cultural awareness, evaluation problems, medication errors, social anxiety, care and economic injustice are the key topics of the report. Those patterns illustrate the systemic challenges that discourage African Americans from obtaining appropriate mental health support and accessing them. Consequences for medical care and potential for improvement are addressed.



Introduction to the Problem

In the United States mental illness is normal. Close to one in five people dealing with a mental disorder in the US. Mental disorders include several common ailments, varies from minor to moderate to severe, and varying in intensity. The prevalence of mental illness is one of the largest among all illnesses in the US and psychiatric disabilities are one of the most severe causes of illness.

Mental health is important to the wellness, healthy home and human interactions of a individual, and the opportunity to live a full and meaningful life. People diagnosed with mental health problems, particularly youngsters, are at significant risk for many dangerous and hazardous habits, particularly alcohol or substance misuse, aggressive or self-destructive actions and suicide. Mental health issues can have a significant effect on physical wellbeing, and are correlated with the incidence, development, and result of some of the more important medical illnesses of today, like hypertension, heart disease, and cancer. Psychiatric disorders can have long-term and detrimental effect including high socio-economical prices.

Background of the Problem

Situations in mental wellbeing should not classify in regards to ethnicity, color, class or sexuality. No matter their background, anybody can experience the challenges of mental illness. Even then, problems or perceptions can be specific, and how one perceives and deals with these circumstances. Evan though somebody may have a mental condition, African Americans often face more serious types of mental health problems due to unfulfilled requirements and other challenges. African Americans are ten percent more likely to suffer serious psychiatric trauma, as per the Minority wellbeing division of Health and Human Services.

Like other minority groups, African Americans are often more likely to face demographic inequalities such as health-exclusion, schooling, social, and economic capital. These discrepancies may be contributing to worse results for psychological health. Most people in the African – Americans underestimate what a state of mental wellbeing is, and also don’t talk about all this. This problem leads many to believe that a state of mental health is a personality defect or some form of retribution from God. People are hesitant to talk mental health issues and receive therapy due to the societal stigma associated with this condition. Several African Americans also have difficulty identifying the signs of mental health conditions, leading to the risks and impacts of mental health disorders being underestimated. Some may find distress to be “the blues” or something like that to get out of.

Statement of the Problem

The problem is the increasing rate of mental health disorder among the African-American community.

Purpose of the Study

While change has been made over the years, discrimination tends to affect Black/African Americans’ psychological health. Pessimistic assumptions and exclusion behaviors have diminished, but tend to occur with tangible, negative consequences. The pseudoscience of “illnesses” such as Drapetomia and Dysaethesia Aethiopica, produced to retain power of racism and slavery, can be seen as proof of the historical background which leads to skepticism within the African Americans.

Many African-Americans also see psychiatric disorder as God’s retribution. As per one survey quoted by the American Psychiatric Association, up to 85 per cent of African Americans identify them as “pretty secular” or “holy” and frequently use praying as a means to cope with tension. Moral discernment, families, and culture are a wonderful source of moral support, which may be a obstacle to accessing the medical or psychological care that is required. Church groups may become a cause of anxiety when they are informed about psychiatric condition and ways of helping individuals and communities in their healing efforts.

Although mental disorder is by no means limited to people of lower financial condition, factors may lead to the stressors that may surround poverty – malnutrition, unemployment, lack of other essential necessities or a failure to identify employment or access care. The US Census Bureau indicates a poverty level of 26.2 per cent for African Americans in 2014. As per the McSilver Poverty Policy and Research Institute “it is well recorded that homelessness exacerbates mental disorder. Nevertheless, it was accepted more lately that deprivation can lead to the emergence of mental illness.

African Americans of all races are most likely to experience serious violent crimes or become victims of them. Aggression behavior increases the danger of acquiring a disease of psychological health, such as stress disorder, anxiety and depression. African American kids are more likely to be subject to abuse than other youngsters, which can have a detrimental impact on the psychological health and quality of life.


Summarization of socio-demographic variables and survey subscales was analyzed by using descriptive statistics. Bivariate regression was performed to compare males and females on all variables of research. In both contrasts, clinical validity was based on the Pearson χ2 equation in categorical variables, and the standard theory model for co0ntinuous variables. General linear models (GLM) were developed to analyze the sex and also age bracket variations and each of the primary outcomes. Additionally, a term of sexuality by age group communication was studied to determine whether the distinctions in the self – reported level between age demographics differed between both the sexes.

Significance of the Study

A lack of cultural expertise in the public healthcare system can also present obstacles to seeking medical assistance. Only 3.7 percent of the members of the American Psychiatric Association and 1.5 percent of the members of the American Psychological Association are African American. Researchers have also shown that African Americans view the traditional therapist as a ‘old white man, who’d be oblivious to the economic and social complexities of his life. This study will break their planted thoughts and make them more aware of their situation of mental health disorder by scientifically proven data. Mental disorders can escalate without adequate care and make daily life harder. It is important to resolve the isolation and pragmatism of refusing oneself support in way to act solid. The greatest power lies in remembering and finding support. In order to make real progress, more focus needs to be paid to prevention, intervention and repair.


Researchers have tried to explore what has been identified as the two conflicting theories influencing clinical diagnostic work on race differences. The first theory is the concept of “physician bias,” which makes the inference that each ethnicity equally experiences symptoms of depression and the fault in wrong diagnosis lies with the physician, who evaluates each ethnicity separately. The other assumption is defined as “gender essentialism,” which presumes that anxiety propagates varies in various minority groups especially in comparison to the white people and the physician is disrespectful to the differences in culture across each racial group , leading to a wrong diagnosis. Nonetheless, previous studies have shown that African American males are especially susceptible to addiction related to racial prejudice against race.


Race prejudice was found to reduce the length of genome and was found to be associated with skin aging. One must   agree that their research had drawbacks in these communities, including not controlling for gender or the probability of pursuing psychiatric care.


While African Americans make up a tiny portion of the society in America, they are over-represented in people at high risk. The studies show that vulnerability to abuse, imprisonment and participation in the adoption system may raise the likelihood of a mental disorder developing. Especially Americans experience higher levels to these stress factors than the wider public globally. This study showed that African Americans are at a psychological deficit

Individuals, ecological and organizational factors are responsible for wellbeing. Main obstacles such as prejudice, societal lack of trust and misidentification pose major risk factors for mental care for African Americans. In addition, the review of research examined the role of traumatic experiences and how it influenced and affected those barriers. The effect of historical trauma subordination continues to have on the black community to this very day.


African American Attitude towards mental health

Mental disorder is prevalent to all age groups. Of the 12 % of total inhabitants in the United States, however, almost 18.7% of them suffer depression. Mentally unstable African Americans suffer from severe psychiatric disorder; have poorer performance rates, higher disability rates and more obstacles to mentally ill care. While studies have focused on the pervasive mental illness among African Americans, hardly anyone has discussed their perceptions, experiences, values, and actions in dealing with it.

Mental Disorders and mental health problems

Morbidity disparities are declared, and death rates are fairly high. This are due to medical issues the community is vulnerable to due to their psychiatric condition. Hypertension levels are three times those of white as per the WHO. Furthermore, African Americans have a 40 per cent higher risk of having cardiovascular disease relative to whites. In addition, these large gaps in state of health between African Americans and whites are due to the inequalities they encounter during access to health care facilities. Observational treatment of mental health has documented the occurrence of signs of different disorders in African American adults, as well as young people and babies. Many of those are obsessive-compulsive syndrome, functional enuresis, disorder of behavior. Despite this, anxiety and depression is the most commonly distributed illness.

Issues in addressing citizen mental health

While mental disorder is likely to occur for any person, black Americans face a higher probability because of their emotional difficulties and other obstacles to accessing health care services. According to Minority Health Department of Health and Human Services, the levels of psychiatric distress in this group are 10 percent higher. Lack of facts and communication has prevented black Americans from gaining full knowledge of mental disorder. Thus, they are hesitant to mention it in general and believe it is retribution from Christ. Due to a lack of understanding, they are often unable to recognize the psychological illness-related side effects and also have hardly any concept where to reach for diagnosis.



One of the basic things by many African – American communities has been recognized as mental disorder. Different causes also caused the illness to predominate. It’s also been noted from the earlier section that stigma-related problems are among the primary reasons stopping African American from communicating publicly about their mental disorder across other causes. Many scholars have examined both the issues related to mental illness and the obstacles faced in resolving these problems. However, much of them fail to grasp the experiences and disparities based on class, as well as the population-related managing.

Research Questions

This study has the objective of addressing the following research issues:

  • Sex-based disparities and the person’s attitude on psychiatric condition?
  • The issues that are impacting African American psychological health?
  • Which are the obstacles to solving psychological problems?
  • What diagnosis is suitable for psychiatric condition?

The study is applying a mixed approach to deal with the study issues. The blended process can be defined as the technique of study which applies both primary and secondary research. Quantitative analysis relies on statistics and data collected from different literary outlets, such as publications and papers reviewed by peers. The qualitative research, but at the other hand , makes use of questionnaires and interviews to arrive at correct conclusions. A statistical approach has been implemented to be able to assess the different aspects and also the sex viewpoint.

Description of the Participants

Both adults in the 28-65 age bracket and adolescents have strong suicidal impulses, depression, and other mental disorders. Thus the target demographic was selected here between 18-70 year age brackets. To order to come at various findings and assumptions two various studies were performed. Other sample characteristics selected included low-income individuals who registered and accepted to be questioned, had received personality disorder care in the previous year. In addition, they identified past substance abuse incidents but were psychologically healthy at the beginning of the survey.


First, it described the cycle of help-seeking amongst these African American individuals. A set of questionnaire which consisting of eleven question items was designed for this. The queries were aligned with various issues which may occur during the questionnaire. A field note audio handbook has been used to document all of the nonverbal information as well as pertinent statements from interviews conducted. A team of four specific representatives was established before carrying out the survey. A main researcher who was a trained nurse accompanied by the other participants who either practiced nurses or earned their graduate degrees, carried the league. All group members were African American persons except the principal investigator who is the applicant for a graduate degree. All the material was either stored as case notes or audio recordings. That meeting took 20-30 minutes and was focused on the structured survey ready to direct the same thing.

Ethical Considerations

Every work is driven by those ethical standards, and is no exception to this report. All quantitative data were collected from peer-reviewed and academic publications to ensure the efficient completion of the analysis. It also needs to abide by all the laws pertaining to copyright infringement. As for descriptive study, the audio that was accessed was transcribed in such a way that the individual did not identified.