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Poor Mental Health Disparity among African Americans in the US

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Poor Mental Health Disparity among African Americans in the US

Although Black people in the United States have a long history, they remain neglected by health systems due to various reasons. Black people in the United States experience significant health disparities in mental health, chronic conditions, preventive interventions and access to health care. The health disparity selected to be discussed in this paper is poor mental compared to other races in the United States. The health issue chosen that African Americans are experiencing disparity is mental health, and the non-profit selected to undertake the recommended program of reducing the disparity is the American Health Association.

Health Disparity: Poor Mental Health Disparity among African Americans

Mental health is a critical health problem that affects all races in the world. In the United States, poor mental disparity also affects all the races from the majority (White people) to all other minority groups like Asians, African Americans, and many others. However, research shows that poor mental health is prevalent in African Americans more than any other race in the US. Since it is a constant issue among the African Americans, it influences and impacts the overall health of a person both internally and externally. The reason for having many African Americans with a mental health problem is as a result of psychological factors when seeking mental health care. The psychological factors include mistrusts that African Americans have on health professionals, high poverty levels, lack of access to mental health care and lack of transportation which African Americans with mental health issue can be transported to receive mental health care services.

The Social determinants of Poor Mental Health

There are two main determinants of the high prevalence of poor mental health among African Americans. The two main factors include lack of jobs and lack of income, especially in low-socio-economic societies of African Americans. The two determinants of mental health problem lead to stress and anxiety as they struggle to survive as well as send their children to school. When African Americans are unable to obtain or maintain employment, they experience financial difficulties, and this is what leads to stress. When people in this community start experiencing stress, it increases the risk of one become depressed, and as a result, they indulge in drug abuses.

Employment and job security are two important social factors that determine the mental health of a person. Lack of employment and job security leads to psychological distress. According to to…, psychological distress significantly reduces a person’s ability to search and obtain employment across all the races. For instance, when one is experiences depression, it is difficult for such a person to secure an employment and this significantly reduces the hours that a person has worked in a week, and this impacts one’s earnings in a month. The low income earned to increase the risk of poverty cycle in African American communities, which leads to the development of mental disorders such as depression and trauma. The economic, social and environmental stressors among African Americans put them on the risk of unemployment. If they obtain a job, it pays poorly, and even it has no job security.

Income determines the mental well-being of an individual. It is the income that determines the kind of life that one is going to live. Availability of high income means one has no economic stressors, and therefore, the probability of developing mental health disorders is minimal. However, low or lack of income leads to economic stressors, which result in mental disorders. According to to…, most African American communities have low or no incomes, and this has contributed to their high prevalence of mental health disorders. Due to low income, there is high exposure to community violence of these individuals. Research shows that community violence has people internalize and externalize their problems, and this leads to both behavioural health problems and mental health illnesses.

There are many other social determinants of mental health issues among African Americans. Still, the lack of income and employment are the main reasons why there are increased individuals with mental disorders among African American communities. There is a need for a recommendation of programs and interventions that would alleviate these determinants and improve the overall mental health of African Americans.

The non-profit organization where I can seek the assistance of dealing with the social determinants discussed is the American Heart Association (AHA). AHA represents and serves all health care centres and their patients. It also serves communities that are economically affected by providing health services to them and health them to enhance their living conditions.

Program to reduce Mental Health Disparity

The program that would deal with the main determinants of mental disorders among African Americans is supporting the low socio-economic African Americans by campaigning for their rights and having interventions in place for those individuals who developmental disorders. AHA can have programs to provide mental health care services to a member of this community for free so that it can health them recover. According to to…, it is lack of early mental health intervention such as counselling that has led to a high prevalence of mental health problem among African Americans. This is caused by African American individuals not able to afford counselling services, and hence they end up developing mental disorders. The causes of mental health disorders among African American is harsh economic conditions of not having steady income due to lack of employment and job security. Campaigning for these communities to have a steady income and secure job would also be a big step towards reducing the development of mental disorders. The outcome of this program is that African Americans will experience low economic, social, and cultural stressors due to inclusivity, and this would reduce the development of mental disorders among African Americans, and this would reduce the disparity that has been existing.















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