There are different reasons to this answer this question, but the two major reasons are described below:
- Lack of knowledge and misunderstanding
There is great misunderstanding about mental health in the African-American population. It is due to lack of knowledge as many people think that the mental health consultation is a sign of weakness and they feel ashamed for seeking help. Some even believe it’s a punishment from God and thus consider not seeking help from a doctor, but a church. Most in our community think we can just ‘pray’ it away. As a result, their conditions tend to worsen over time. This then ruins relationships, work life, and their life in general. To avoid this, we have to make sure all of our peers seek the information they need.
According to recent research, one-quarter of African-Americans seek mental health care and are usually misdiagnosis. Usually most doctors in our community don’t take our symptoms serious, we are told to go home and in my case, I was told to pray about it. I was also told that black people don’t need those drugs in our system. How foolish? This has a negative influence on our lives and leads us to distrust the professional healthcare system and workers. Most of us just couldn’t care less to seek the help, because we are constantly misdiagnosis.
Thus through proper knowledge, eliminating the negative stereotypes, and constant conversations we can reduce fewer suicides. It is our duty in the African-American community to guide our love ones when we see them suffering.