Remove the Stigma

CHOOSE EMPOWERMENT

Trevor candidly discusses how African Americans are less likely to seek therapy due disparities in racial equality ,  misdiagnosis of mental illness,

a lack of therapists of color and the stigma that has paralyzed the

Black community for generations.

Mark Anthony Garrett
interviews Dr. Ridley , L
icensed Clinical Psychologist

WORLDWIDE

SUPPORT

IS

KEY

Negative attitudes and beliefs towards people who live with mental health conditions is pervasive within the U.S. and can be particularly strong within the Black community. One study showed that 63% of Black people believe that a mental health condition is a sign of personal weakness. As a result, people may experience shame about having a mental illness and worry that they may be discriminated against due to their condition.

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For many in the Black community, it can be incredibly challenging to discuss the topic of mental health due to this concern about how they may be perceived by others. This fear could prevent people from seeking mental health care when they really need it.

Additionally, many people choose to seek support from their faith community rather than seeking a medical diagnosis. In many Black communities in the U.S., the church, mosque or other faith institution can play a central role as a meeting place and source of strength.

Faith and spirituality can help in the recovery process and be an important part of a treatment plan. For example, spiritual leaders and faith communities can provide support and reduce isolation. However, they should not be the only option for people whose daily functioning is impaired by mental health symptoms. Research shows that men feel pressure to conform to traditional gender norms such a toughness, fearlessness, and invulnerability to pain. Unfortunately many Black men often suffer in silence because of fears that being vulnerable goes against masculinity ideals. Each male selected for the free sessions is essentially encouraged to become a mental health change agent. By one male simply sharing/discussing his experience with other black men, he creates a safe space for another man to step into.

 

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Meet Chris Suel

In 2012, Chris was facing legal troubles, hadn't received an opportunity to get his career started and wasn't making enough money to support himself. He figured things would be easier if he wasn't here.

I happened to be in church one time and they were talking about depression and on the Jumbotron, they had signs of depression and I’m sitting in church thinking to myself, “Am I depressed?” Because those symptoms, I had experienced. What I was going through, was already difficult enough to deal with so I started thinking that I couldn’t get over the hurdle…

Watch Chris share his story of triumph and strength.

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