“Mental Health from a Black Male View” – By Anthony Abram Jr.

“Mental Health from a Black Male View” – By Anthony Abram Jr.

 

“Manning up” at all times can bring men down. Society’s views of men are described with so many words defining strength and toughness. Being vulnerable isn’t an option for us. Being a man, you always have to wear a mask hiding true emotions not to seem less of a man. We’ll accept that our pride outweighs our true needs of asking for help. Knowing we aren’t feeling like ourselves we’ll beat ourselves into a deep dark place where we simply just blow up out of nowhere because we’re a time bomb full of suppressed emotions. Men are more likely to die by suicide than women, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sadly, we in America view the homeless guy on the corner talking nonsense to himself as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

However, many of these people truly suffer from mental illness. As a result, 2 million people with mental illness are booked into jails each year. Nearly 15% of men and 30% of women booked into jails have a serious mental health condition, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. After leaving jail, the housing and job market makes it harder for those with a criminal record. Without mental health resources, re-arrest is more likely for those who are homeless. Also, they’re more likely to resort back to drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, the group of people who needs the support is being ignored.

Within the black community, the generational remedy for mental health is “fighting through it” or “just praying. “Going to see a therapist or talking about mental health was taboo in the black community growing up. For minorities, especially African American men, mental-health care is often provided for the first time in prison, where the care is so low that lack of treatment has fueled a suicide ideation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death among black males ages 15 to 24. Suicide rates have double among Black men since 1980.

Depression and Anxiety for a black man doesn’t look like laying around the house for days, it manifests itself through anger and rage. The built-up anger and rage is often developed over time from the trauma and PTSD of the environment they’re raised in. Growing up in rough impoverished neighborhoods, you’re raised on survival. Right at the very moment we’re being programmed to show no emotion. We continue to carry that mindset throughout our lives until a traumatic event happens. That cycle has to end, we have to let our young men know it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to express how we really feel.

Create a new generational cycle of being educated on mental health. Let’s stop judging people we don’t want to help. Instead let’s help educate and guide those in need to proper treatment!

resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/index.shtml

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