The celebration of Black History Month during February each year, offers an opportunity to explore and reflect upon the struggle and impact of Black people on the United States.
Canvas Health’s mission to bring hope, healing, and recovery to the people we serve fits well with Black History Month’s 2022’s theme, “Black Health and Wellness.”
To read about some of the Black leaders who have had profound impact on the mental health field and how the field serves Black people, you can visit the exploration we did last year. We also want to highlight Canvas Health’s understanding of mental illness and its disproportionate impact on Black people as part of our commitment to providing excellent care based on the individuals needs and circumstances of all our clients.
The Impacts of Mental Illness
Mental illness is common, affecting one in four Americans. Though the impacts of mental illness on Black Americans in particular are often disproportionate, due to conscious and unconscious societal failings of bias and inequity. Black adults are “20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems, such as Major Depressive Disorder or Generalize Anxiety Disorder (see here).” Black Americans are more likely to be disadvantaged socioeconomically due to cultural and systemic biases.
- Socioeconomic circumstances often can be an indicator for the possibility of developing a mental illness.
- Socioeconomic circumstances are a key factor in determining access to and quality of mental health care.
- Mental health providers can have cultural biases that are factors in misdiagnosis and poorer treatment of Black clients.
- As in other communities, there is significant stigma of mental illness with many Black communities. This stigma can be exacerbated by provider bias, leading to poor experiences and outcomes.
Canvas Health tries meet these needs by hiring excellent providers, providing ongoing training, collaborative work between care teams and community resources, and through the belief that we always need to continuing learning and improving. If you want to speak with a Canvas Health counselor, you can reach out by message or by phone here.
Visit Mental Health America for a huge list of resources and information about Black mental health history, statistics and other information about mental health in Black communities, mental health resources, and more.