Need larger text?

-A A +A

Breaking the stigma: Mental health challenges in the Black community

Mental health struggles are common in the Black community, yet many people refuse to acknowledge these battles. Stigma and misunderstanding often prevent people from seeking help.
There are a number of ways to combat stigma and promote mental health awareness in the Black community, including educating people about mental health conditions, destigmatizing mental illness and providing access to mental health services.
It is important to be aware of the signs of depression, as early detection and treatment can lead to better outcomes. Some of the signs of depression include:

  • Feeling sad, upset, or crying more than usual
  • Restlessness, uneasiness, or irritability
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or self-critical
  • Feeling empty or numb
  • Isolating oneself from others
  • Losing interest in things that used to bring pleasure
  • Feeling easily angered or frustrated
  • Having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Having thoughts of suicide or self-harm

The 988 suicide hotline is a free, confidential service that provides emotional support to people in crisis available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are struggling with mental health problems, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. There are a number of resources available to African Americans who are struggling with mental health issues, and there is no shame in asking for help.

Dr. Jacqueline Carruthers specializes in internal medicine and currently practices at WellMed at St. Edwards in Houston, Texas. She earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (now UT Health San Antonio) and completed her residency at UT Southwestern - St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.