The African-American experience is quite different from other cultures. Although anyone can experience mental health distress, addressing our mental wellness must include many of these unique underlying issues that come from the Black experience in this country. These underlying issues that can affect our mental health are slavery, our social norms and overall beliefs when it comes to mental health.
Until recently, seeking mental wellness through therapy was seen as an unnecessary sign of weakness in our community.
And although the Black community is now embracing the benefits of therapy, many of us have issues finding a mental health professional who is culturally competent and understands us on a deeper level.
If you or someone you know is in search of a therapist and wants to know if he or she is the right fit, here are some questions to ask your mental health professional:
- Have you ever treated an African-American with a mental health disorder?
- I’m concerned that you may not understand my issues concerning being an African-American female (or male) and my mental health. Do you feel you can and why?
- Have you been trained in multicultural issues?
- Can you refer me to someone who can address these concerns?
For more support in finding a mental wellness professional, go to Black Mental Health Alliance.