Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States in 2013 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicide wasn’t among the 15 leading causes of death of African Americans in 2013. While this is good news for black people, in general, the stressful experiences we go through are unhealthy. Many Black People have a difficult time developing an honest and open line of communication with their doctor. Jay Harold has a post, “Talking to Doctor Presents Challenges for African Americans,” that addresses this issue. Jay Harold will give a brief overview of Mental Health based on information provided by the MentalHealth.gov website.
What is Mental Health?
Mental Health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mental Illnesses are serious disorders that can affect your thinking, mood, and behavior. There are many causes of mental disorders. Your genes and family history may play a role. Your life experiences, such as stress or a history of abuse, may also matter. Biological factors can also be part of the cause. Mental disorders are common, but treatments are available according to MedlinePlus.
African Americans are constantly battered by negative stereotypes in the media and the public at large. The Civil Rights gains of the last fifty years are under attack and problems with law enforcement are in the headlines. It’s hard being a Black Person in America!
Was It Just My Imagination?
Let’s separate myths from facts. MentalHealth.gov provided these facts on the mental health of Americans. In 2014, about:
- One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue
- One in ten young people experienced a period of major depression
- One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression
41,000 Americans die from Suicide each year, more than twice the number of lives lost to homicide. The effect of a suicide on a family is devastating.
Many people believe that someone with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable. The facts from MentalHealth’s website shows a different story. The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent, and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over ten times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population. You probably know someone with a mental health problem and don’t even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.
Jay Harold knows that mental illness is a major problem in the black community. The belief that the “American Dream” wasn’t for African Americans is depressing. When you seek help, the black community has few mental health resources. MentalHealth.gov is always available and provides many tools to get you started on the road to recovery.
Play the free “Slow Roll Through Civil Rights” Game found on the Jay Harold website. Enjoyed this post? Share it and read more here.