Mentalwell-being refers to the absence of mental disorders and the level ofpsychological well-being in individuals. In the U.S, there seems tobe some disparity on the rates and cases of mental health among thevarious communities in the country. According to the 2013 U.S census,42 million of the population considered themselves to be AfricanAmericans while another 1% considered themselves as multiracial. Thisrepresents a 14.2% of the population that can be classified asAfrican Americans. It is projected that by 2050, the ethnic minoritypopulation will represent more than half of the U.S population.Research and studies conducted on the state of mental health revealthat minorities are more likely to be affected by mental healthcompared to their white counterparts. For instance, black adults havea 20% chance of more likely reporting a psychological distress than awhite adult. Black adults are also 3 times more likely to reportpsychological distress due to poverty. The black adults have morechances of reporting hopelessness, sadness and worthlessness whencompared to their white counterparts[ CITATION Men15 l 1033 ].Finally, black teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide thantheir white counterparts. In addition, black females are more likelyto suffer from depression at 4% compared to 3.1% of the whitepopulation according to a study conducted by the Center for DiseaseControl[ CITATION Ham14 l 1033 ].
Thedisparity in mental health between the African American community andthe white community can be attributed to a number of factors,attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. The fact that the black communityhas a 20% more chance of reporting a mental health problem suggestthat several factors have played a part in this statistics. The blackcommunity has several attitudes as far as the subject of mentalhealth is concerned. For instance, 63% of the African Americansbelieve depression is brought up by personal weakness while 31% ofthe African Americans do not view depression as health problem. Infact, most attribute depression to a normal aging process andtherefore is normal. However, what was most shocking about thestudies were the attitudes and behaviors this community had about thetreatment of mental health illnesses. Most of the population waseither in denial, felt ashamed or lacked complete knowledge of thesubject. In fact, it is believed that African American were onlywilling to take an antidepressant 34% of the time if it wasprescribed by the doctor[ CITATION Men15 l 1033 ].Inaddition other factors such as poverty and the lack of healthinsurance can be traced back to historical adversities during slaverywhich deprived the black community of access to health facilities,social and economic resources as well as an education. Thesehistorical injustices have ailed the African American society as faras mental health treatment is concerned as only a few of the blackpopulation can access medical facilities and this has posed a greatchallenge for the African American women who have especially have agreater risk of having major depressive disorder. In addition,African Americans are more likely to be incorrectly diagnosed withmental health problems compared to their white counterparts.
Allis not lost in the fight against mental health among the AfricanAmericans. There are resources available for this community. Theseresources can be in the form of booklets or the information can beavailable on a website. For example, the NAMI booklet can providehelpful information on mental health illness among the AfricanAmerican community. On the other hand, a website such as Black womenand health can provide information about the state of mental healthamong black women. The website also has contact information shouldquestions come up.
Theuse of evidence based training is a relatively new in mental illnessbut in order to be effective the evidence based plan should beculturally tailored and should have the eight dimensions as discussedin the article by Goebert. This include: persons, language, content,metaphor, goals, concept and methods. The evident based plan willaddress four main points[ CITATION Goe14 l 1033 ].First, it will involve a review of all existing literature on thesubject of mental health and come up with recommendations. Second, itwill match all the findings with the data collected from surveyscarried out on the subject. Third, an outcome of the plan will bepredicted and lastly positive outcomes will be evaluated from theplan. As cited above the evidence based plan is likely to suffer fromissues related to ethnic and social backgrounds. For instance, theblack community is likely to be in denial and embarrassed about thesubject of mental health. Therefore,my strategy on addressing such issues would be to use metaphors and alanguage that would make it easier for them to understand what I amtalking about. For instance, I might delegate the collection ofsurveys to a person who understands the slang in the neighborhood andthis way, the community will not have a negative attitude towards me.In addition, I will also be a good listener and look at things fromtheir perspective in order to avoid any biases.
Goebert, D. (2014, August 1). Cultural Disparities in Mental Health Care: Closing the Gap. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from Psychiatric Times: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/cultural-psychiatry/cultural-disparities-mental-health-care-closing-g
Hamm, N. (2014, November 25). High Rates of Depression Among African-American Women, Low Rates of Treatment. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nia-hamm/depression-african-american-women_b_5836320.html?ir=India
Mental Health America. (2015). African American Communities and Mental Health. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from Mental Health America: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/african-american-mental-health