The African American experience is unique. The effects of slavery and Jim Crow have impacted us for generations and still rears its head in our mental wellness. Take these statistics from a 2021 study by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health:
- In 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for blacks or African Americans, ages 15 to 24.1
- The death rate from suicide for black or African American men was four times greater than for African American women, in 2018.
- The overall suicide rate for black or African Americans was 60 percent lower than that of the non-Hispanic white population, in 2018.
- Black females, grades 9-12, were 60 percent more likely to attempt suicide in 2019, as compared to non-Hispanic white females of the same age.
This research, combined with our unique experience, makes understanding how to address our mental health different from others. Several Black authors have written books to address our mental health. Take time to read and pass along the following books on Black mental health.
- Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting by Terrie M. Williams
- Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy Angela Degruy
- The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. DuBois
- Black Rage: Two Black Psychiatrists Reveal the Full Dimensions of the Inner Conflicts and the Desperation of Black Life in the United States by William H. Grier and Price M. Cobbs
- Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem by bell hooks
- Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman’s Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Fear by Ph.D. Angela Neal-Barnett Ph.D.
- Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression by Monica A Coleman
- Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah