Black-American Emotional Wellness

How Black communities are positively transforming the future by addressing behavioral and mental health issues.

What are the barriers black communities face in getting behavioral healthcare


Less than half of all Black Americans with a mental disorder get the treatment that they need.

Likelihood to consider suicide


Suicide is the third leading cause of death among African Americans ages 15 to 24.



While suicide rates among Black Americans are lower compared to other racial minorities, the rate has been increasing in recent years

Treatment Gap

Only about 19.8% of Black Americans receive mental health services, compared to approximately 19.8% of white Americans


What are the roadblocks for Black Communities?

Financial cost 

More families would receive help if they had affordable alternatives that were just as effective. 

Lack of Representation In Providers

The lack of black and brown therapists hinders them from seeking treatment and feeling comfortable confiding in one. Many black people have learned about therapy through the lens of white therapy and not from someone who understands their unique needs.

Stigmatized, judgments and Misunderstandings

The barrier of stigmatization. Black and brown people are perceived to be weak when they have concerns about their mental or emotional well-being. Thus, a family may have difficulty discussing their issues with one another because they may later belittle, disparage, and unqualify one another. As a result, resentment becomes unresolved and builds up, resulting in trauma cycles that are problematic

Consistency in making time for services

For every community, time is a major barrier. However, Black Americans have the highest rate of single-parent household amongst all ethnicities. As a result, finding extra time to seek clinical help is difficult when you are busy with work, parenting, and your own mental-emotional health. Growing up, Black children can sometimes lack the mental and emotional support they need.

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Historical institutional Mistrust

Mistreatment, experimentation, and discrimination in the healthcare system that can make black people wary of seeking behavioral or mental health services.  Many black Americans living in urban or low-income areas have unresolved childhood traumas that go on unchecked for years or even a lifetime. Mental Illness can present as aggression, mood swings, paranoia, and PTSD. Many black children are observed to have hyper behaviors when they are actually under or undiagnosed for learning differences or mood disorders.

The belief that seeking mental health help is something to be ashamed of or that it reflects poorly on one’s family or community.

What Black Americans Are Doing To Heal.

Building social emotional skills has a rippling healing effect on black communities.
Address Unique Needs of the population
The whole-person well-being of black men, women, and children has gained mainstream attention following events in recent years. As a result, black men and women have begun to engage more in emotional wellness discussions virtually or in person without feeling ostracized. You can shape the narrative by talking openly about emotional wellness.
Help Communities Embrace Help
When Black people need behavioral healthcare, seeking social support from friends and family can help them cope with stress. In 2023, there has been a reduction in stigmas and an increased use of emotional wellness tools. Remember, to maintain long-lasting mental and emotional balance, these self-care activities like community get-togethers, dances, celebrations, and other healthy activities are great ways to heal together.

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Helping Families Find Balance

Self-discipline, delayed gratification, and impulse control are key to long-term success. Without adequate social-emotional skills development, children may struggle with friendships, peer pressure, and expressing themselves, leading to bullying, isolation, and resentment.

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