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Black History Month & Behavioral Health

BHM 2023 BlogCelebrated each February, Black History Month (also known as African American History Month) is a time to celebrate the achievements and sacrifices of African Americans, as well as a time to recognize their integral role and contributions throughout U.S. history.

During the month, it’s also key we focus on increased education, awareness, and understanding of the black community. When it comes to the topic of behavioral health, there are many challenges that Black/African American people may face because of ongoing racism, injustices, and oppression.

Did You Know?

Stronger Together Horizon

  • Black/African American adults are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness compared to their white counterparts.
  • Black/African Americans are less likely than white people to die from suicide at all ages. Black/African American teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide compared to white teenagers.
  • Black/African American people are more often diagnosed with schizophrenia and less often diagnosed with mood disorders, compared to white people with the same symptoms. Additionally, they are offered medication or therapy at lower rates than the general population.
  • Binge drinking, smoking (cigarettes and marijuana), illicit drug use, and prescription pain reliever misuse are more frequent among Black/African American adults with mental illnesses.
  • Because less than 2% of American Psychological Association members are Black/African American, some may worry mental health practitioners are not culturally competent enough to treat their specific issues.
  • Stigma and judgment prevent Black/African American people from seeking treatment for their mental illnesses.

At Horizon, we remain committed to serving people of all racial identities, reducing stigma, advocating and supporting the black community, and upholding our Stronger Together Action Plan.

References: ASALH, Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program, Mental Health America, NAMI