Addressing Barriers to Mental Health Services with African Americans Experiential Project

Barriers to mental health services amongst African Americans have been challenging and these challenges have caused a decline in African Americans seeking mental health support within their community.  African Americans ignore mental health disparities due to fear of receiving inappropriate treatments and interventions from mental health providers.  The refusal of mental health care extends from historical and present day trust issues, misdiagnoses, labeling, discrimination, unintentional biases, and lack of cultural sensitivity within the mental health sector. Mental health disparities are defined as “unfair differences in access to quality of care according to race and ethnicity” (McGuire & Miranda, 2008).  To decrease barriers amongst African Americans seeking mental health care, it is essential to have culturally competent mental health providers who are aware of the vast influences that culture plays on psychological processes, mental illness, and the way help is sought. It is imperative to create successful progress and movement on mental health issues in the African American community.

Stephanie M. Aina
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