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Prioritising Mental Health Among The Black Community


To kickstart this year, I thought I'd delve into issues surrounding mental health among the Black community and address the stigma.

Let me watch the video instead.

A sad black woman
Black Woman

So, Why Is Prioritising Mental Health Among The Black Community Important?

Because unless we address some of these issues hindering our well-being, it is impossible to thrive. Life is about thriving; one doesn't just want to survive but also to thrive; having your health and wellness is a crucial part of that equation. To write this blog, I'll use the knowledge I've read. 


Even though mental health affects everyone, studies have found that if you're a black man in Britain, you're 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious mental health condition than if you're white. 


Therefore, honest conversations about mental health need to be had as they can help reduce the shame and misunderstanding around mental illness and encourage seeking help when needed. 



Risk Factors  

If you're a black person and you live in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa or another part of the world, the following are some of the risk factors that make you prone to developing depression.


Genetic factors

Sometimes, depression or other mental health conditions run in the family because of a genetic link.


Biological Factors

 Sometimes, there are physical changes in the body that cause things to run riot. For example, certain medications and medical conditions can alter brain chemistry, causing depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. 


Psychological factors 

Psychological factors have everything to do with your temperament, outlook on life, and attitude towards certain events or things that happen in the world. For example, you're at risk if you're constantly focusing on the negative events happening worldwide, i.e. watching mostly negative news and conspiracy theories; this is bound to impact you psychologically.


Eventually, you could develop a deep view of the world or the future. And when that happens, you're more likely to sink into depression compared to someone who focuses on the positive.


Environment Factors

There is medical evidence to prove that stress, trauma abuse, and racism cause health issues such as hypertension, cancer, depression, anxiety and death. Even though it is not only Black people who suffer from mental health challenges, Black people, especially those who left their country of origin to settle abroad, to countries like the UK, Canada, the United States, South Africa and other countries in Europe, face a unique challenge which is racial trauma.




Addressing The Problem

If you're struggling, it is always wise to talk to someone. Do not suffer in silence. If your mental health challenge is a result of environmental factors such as abuse or racial discrimination, seek professional health. Also, if your life is under threat, then go to the police.


Stigma

Breaking the stigma around mental health is crucial for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, but it is especially important for the Black community. 


As I've already stated, mental health is a fundamental part of our overall well-being, and it's crucial for everyone, including the black community. Although mental health concerns are often stigmatised, it's imperative to understand that seeking help is a sign of strength, and it is OK not to be OK. Lastly, it's OK to ask for support. 


Always remember that mental health affects everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, and there are numerous resources available to help you through difficult times. Prioritising self-care and seeking help is essential to living a healthy and fulfilling life. 


Watch my full video on mental health among the Black community below:





Resources that address mental health concerns in the Black community in the UK. 

Black Minds Matter UK: This organisation provides free mental health services for Black individuals and families in the UK. 

Black Thrive: This community-led organisation works to improve mental health and well-being for Black individuals and communities in the London borough of Lambeth. 

NHS Mental Health Services: The UK's National Health Service (NHS) offers free mental health services, including therapy and medication, to those who need it. 

Samaritans: This charity provides confidential emotional support to those experiencing distress or despair, including a 24/7 helpline. 

Mind: This charity provides information and advice on mental health for individuals and communities in the UK. 

Many other resources are available, and it's important to find the right support that works for you. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and asking for support is OK.

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