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Spring Health stands in solidarity with our Black community. Our mission is to eliminate every barrier to mental health, and we recognize that racism and related traumas are in fact one of the most pervasive barriers to mental health. We’ve compiled Black mental health resources here for HR leaders to share with your teams on how to support black mental health.
Know the facts about Black mental health*
- Higher prevalence: Adult Black / African Americans are 20% more likely to report serious psychological distress than white adults.
- More likely to attempt suicide: Black/African American teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than are white teenagers (8.3 percent v. 6.2 percent).
- Less likely to receive care: As of 2015, among those with mental illness, 48% of Whites are receiving the services they need compared to 31% of Blacks.
- Microaggressions and mental health: Higher frequencies of racial microaggressions negatively predict mental health and racial microaggressions are significantly correlated with depression.
- Disparities in care quality: African Americans often receive poorer quality of care and lack access to culturally competent care. Compared with the general population, African Americans are less likely to be offered either evidence-based medication therapy or psychotherapy.
* According to the US HHS Office of Minority Health, American Psychiatric Association, Journal of Counseling & Development, and J Gen Intern Med
Barriers to mental health care for African Americans
The provision of equitable mental health care for Black / African Americans in the United States continues to face significant challenges, resulting in persistent disparities in access and outcomes. These barriers, deeply rooted in systemic issues, exacerbate existing health disparities and contribute to the overall burden of mental health within the black community. In order to shed light on these critical issues, this article will examine a range of barriers that impede access to mental health care for black people. These barriers include:
- Stigma surrounding mental health within the black community
- Distrust of the healthcare system due to historical and contemporary experiences of racism
- Lack of diverse mental health providers who understand and address the unique challenges faced by black individuals
- Lack of culturally competent providers who can deliver care in a sensitive and appropriate manner
- Lack of insurance coverage for mental health services
- Underinsurance, which limits the extent of mental health care that can be accessed
By exploring each of these barriers, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues affecting mental health care accessibility for black individuals and work towards meaningful solutions.
Counseling and therapy resources for Black Americans
Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM) Collective. “A collective of advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists and activists committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities.”
Black Girls Smile. “Ensuring all young African American females receive the resources and support necessary to lead mentally healthy lives.”
Black Mental Health Alliance. “Mission: To develop, promote and sponsor trusted culturally-relevant educational forums, trainings and referral
services that support the health and well-being of Black people and other vulnerable communities.”
The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. Mission: Eradicate the stigma around mental health in the African American community
Inclusive Therapists. Inclusive therapist directory, online trainings and workshops, and inclusive mental health events.
The Loveland Foundation. Therapy fund uses donations to fund mental health services for Black women and girls.
My Brother’s Keeper. My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative of the Obama administration, aims to unite and amplify the voices of black
men through mentorship.
National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network. A healing justice organization that actively works to transform mental health for queer and trans people of color in North America.
The Safe Place App. Mental Health app geared toward the Black community. App features include: Black mental health statistics,
inspirational black quotes, self-care tips
Therapy for Black Girls. A space for Black women developed to navigate mental health in an accessible and relevant manner.
Black communities online and beyond
100 Black Men of America. Working to improve the quality of life within the African American Community.
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI). A community that heals, organizes, advocates, and develops transformative leadership, and
promotes our collective power.
Project LETS. Peer Support for Mental Healing.
The Unplug Collective. “a place where Black and Brown womxn and non-binary folks can share their stories about
existing in their bodies without being silenced or censored.”
Ways to donate
The Okra Project. Provides "home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People."
How you can check in with black friends
Instead of "how are you," try:
- Have you been sleeping?
- How do you need to be supported in this moment?
- What feelings are you experiencing the most right now?
- What have you done just for YOU today?
- Where are you finding joy these days?
- Who are you leaning on for support?
- Did you make sure to eat today? What did you eat?
- What’s on your mind right now?
* Credit: Creative Collective
Spring Health provides employers with a comprehensive mental health benefit that matches each member of their team with a licensed Care Navigators who works with them one-on-one to find the right care and provider. At Spring Health, we are committed to diversity and inclusion: 44% of our Care Navigators are Black, 20% of our provider network is Black, 15% of our network is multiracial, and 45% of our network is non-white. Learn more about Spring Health by requesting a demo today.