Myth: African Americans are less likely to have mental health disorders than other ethnic minorities.

 

Though African Americans still only account for about 3% of the national population with serious mental illness, we now understand that numbers are not clear indicators of mental health in this population. Access to care, low help seeking, misdiagnosis, and delivery of care are all major factors affecting how minority mental health is accounted for and understood. Simply put, is an African-American male more likely to get a mental health diagnosis in the mental health system or the judicial system? Or, when your teenage daughter starts telling you she’s hearing voices do you share this information with her pediatrician or with her pastor?

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