Black Mental Health
The suicide rate among Black youth has been found to be increasing faster than any other racial/ethnic group. Black adults living below the poverty line are more than twice as likely to report serious psychological distress than those with more financial security. Additionally, members of the Black community face structural racism, leading to barriers to access for the care and treatment they need. Only one in three Black adults who need mental health care receive it.
It is important to know that the Lifeline is always there for you, 24/7 by calling or texting 988, or by chatting with a crisis counselor.
How To Take Care Of Yourself
If you're struggling, you can call or chat with the Lifeline. We're available 24/7 and confidential. There are crisis counselors available to listen and support you without judgment.
Make a safety plan: Have a step-by-step plan ready for if/when you feel depressed, suicidal, or in crisis, so you can start at step one and continue through the steps until you feel safe. Creating a safety plan can include listing your coping strategies, identifying the people in your life that may support you through a crisis, and more.
Limit your news consumption. The constant replay of news stories about traumatic events can increase stress and anxiety. Try to reduce the amount of news you watch, read or listen to, and engage in relaxing activities instead.
How To Help
Ask and listen: Be an active part of your loved ones’ support systems and check-in with them often. If they show any warning signs for suicide, be direct. Tell them it’s OK to talk about suicidal feelings. Practice active listening techniques and let them talk without judgment.
Know the facts: Due to cultural stigma, lack of culturally competent providers, distrust of medical providers due to historical abuse, cost or a lack of insurance, and/or limited options in their area, Black adults and youth often struggle to get access to the mental health care they may need.
Get them help and take care of yourself: Don’t be afraid to get your loved one the help they might need. Support them in identifying others to talk to that may understand how they feel – family members, friends, co-workers, and faith or spiritual leaders. The Lifeline is always here to talk or chat, both for crisis intervention and to support friends and loved ones.