As I have mentioned in previous episodes of this series, mental health affects all aspects of the life of an individual and it is very important that we tackle it for a better society. Unfortunately, there is a group of people in society that according to research are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health issues. This group is the black community.
Blacks in America go through it all whether it is being oppressed, fighting for their rights, achieving greatness, and many others. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to this group but there is an unfortunate reality that is as a result of the struggles, they faced many years ago. Oppression, colonialism, enslavement, racism, and segregation are some of the things the black community had to endure. This exposed them to a lot of stress and trauma that caused both psychological and physical damage to their health. I am mentioning these to show one of the building blocks of the black community; trauma. According to genetics, experiences that an individual faces cannot be passed onto the next generations but in the black community, these traumas resulted in psychological changes that became genetically encoded and passed on to their generations. The fear and stress that people in the black community experience is not something that started recently, it is a result of the intergenerational pass-down of trauma. Aside from this, the black community still faces systematic barriers. In the US, the black community makes roughly 12% of the total population but they make up 40% of the homeless population, 50% of the prison population, and 45% of children in foster homes. In this community, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” is complete BS. Many of them work 2 or more jobs, don’t get to spend time with their families yet live-in poverty and extreme stress. So yes, being 20% more susceptible to mental health issues is understandable based on knowledge from previous episodes. This might even get worse after the pandemic so we need to take care of ourselves and our health as we learn to manuiver in these times.
This episode was just to validate the stress in the black community and why they are more likely to experience serious mental health issues. In other episodes, I will be diving into why the black community does not utilize mental health care and ways we can improve ourselves.
Always remembers it's you and us.