Final Project.docx - “Mental Illness in the African American Community How Culture Beliefs Miseducation and Stigma Contributes and to the Growing

Final Project.docx - “Mental Illness in the African...

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“Mental Illness in the African American Community: How Culture, Beliefs, Miseducation and Stigma Contributes and to the Growing Epidemic”. By Tatiana Omari Psychology 224: Research Investigation Professor Etchegrary Southern New Hampshire University 10/19/2019
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Mental Health and African Americans Omari 1 Introduction Mental Illness have always been over shadowed by heavy stigma. In the past, persons who were diagnosis with a mental disorder faced social isolation, abandonment, and were banished from the public eye. The past decade has witnessed some changes in the public perception regarding mental illness. There’s more awareness, programs, and support system centered around helping the mentally ill by providing treatment, services, and support groups. Although, our society have made strides in identifying mental illness as a health issue. Some cultures view it as a sign of weakness, an excuse for deviant behavior, a spiritual infliction, or something disgraceful. Therefore, those cultures take the very traditional approach of ostracizing their mental ill members. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2014 African Americans makes up the second largest racial group in this country standing at 45.7 million people. 16% of the population which equates to 6.8 people that have been diagnosed with a mental illness. According, to the United States Health and Human Services of Minority Health , African American adults are more likely to experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. African Americans of all ages are more likely to be victims of violent crimes and hate crimes. Making them more likely to report symptoms associated with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They are also more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Even tough, there’s evidence that historical adversities that African Americans faced such as: slavery, sharecropping, and race-based segregation. Contributed significantly to present socioeconomic struggles such as: poverty, homelessness, incarceration, and substance abuse. As well as continued racism, social exclusion, and negative stereotypes. Which are all risk factors for mental illness. African Americans still approach mental illness as something that’s
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Mental Health and African Americans Omari 2 nonexistent, shameful, and a sign a weakness. Many African Americans avoid seeking treatment even when faced with common disorders such as depression and anxiety, because of this stigma and the fear of being labeled “ crazy ” or being rejected from their social circle including their families. Beliefs, Culture, and Miseducation are the main reasons why mental illness is viewed so negatively. However, education about the history of mental illness in the community, the impact of stigma and the importance support would significantly decrease the amount of stigma surrounding mental illness.
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