“Why are you depressed? If our people could make it through slavery, we can make it through anything.” “When a black woman suffers from a mental disorder, the opinion is that she is weak. And weakness in black women is intolerable.” “You should take your troubles to Jesus, not some stranger/psychiatrist.”
According to Mental Health of America, “the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness, reports these are three common myths and misconceptions that surround mental illness in the black community.
In the African-American community, mental illness carries a stigma and health professionals indicate that is a key factor that influences this stigma.Lack of knowledge causes people to think of mental illness as a weakness, the “blues”, a punishment from God, or something to snap out of noted the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI).
The lack of information and misunderstanding of mental illness can make it very difficult to find help when you may need it.
Kevin Milton, a 19-year-old Emerson College student, knew he was showing signs of depression but he said his father didn’t think of depression as an illness or immediate concern.