Many discussions of mental health in the African-American/Black community begin with the lasting impact of slavery and the continued oppression the community faces.
Black/African-American individuals are frequently the targets of racism, experiences which increase their mental health distress while limiting their access to resources necessary for treatment.
Mental health professionals also struggle to provide relevant treatment to members of this community due to inadequate training in cross-cultural competency, a short-fall which can result in experiences of racism and macroaggressions from one’s therapist. This is one reason many in the African-American/Black community are hesitant to seek professional treatment, along with the stigma that is attached mental illness.
These and other relevant factors, including coping mechanisms and the intersection of the African-American/Black identity with gender and sexual orientation, are explored in the resources and articles below: