Depression and mental illnesses seem to be a culture denial when it comes to Black and Latino/a communities. Why is that ? Why is it that people have to repress their emotions or problems ? How do you feel about mental illness and depression within the black and latino/a community ? Why is it that depression and mental illness is so “uncommon” within these communities ? What changes can be made to make depression and mental illness be okay within the communities ? A new study in Health Services Research finds only 27 percent of Latinos and 24 percent of Blacks who need mental health care seek treatment compared to 40 percent of whites. We have to step away from the taboo and ask for help. We are human beings do not suppress your troubles because society taught you so.
Opinions of women of color :
“I feel like it’s something that goes unrecognized a lot of the times. Even when people do drastic things as a sign of help it’s still over looked. I really think depression is looked at as something a person of color can’t go through because that’s how society is set up. Like for my freshmen year of college I was just so sad but my family back home kept pushing it aside and saying girl hush up with all that you’ll be fine. I think it’s uncommon because honestly only non people of color are portrayed to have depression and mental illness. I think we need to just start talking about the obvious like look at the colored celebrities that have break downs or change their skin color or even admit to not being happy with who they are. If it isn’t talked about that means it’s not acknowledged”.
“Mental illness is also associated as being a white thing. It’s what is used when a white person does something wrong in society and it’s automatically assumed that that white person must be crazy in order for that to occur”.
“I think poc think that depression is an illness that only white people can have. I honestly don’t know how it became associated with whites only. Some families try to even suppress people that even think they may have a mental illness or depression. Like I didn’t know that one of my brothers had a case of mild retardation until I got OLDER and figured it out myself and then asked because it’s just not talked about.Sort of like we’re ashamed in a sense”.
“I feel like our feelings have always been suppressed and unfortunately we take that into our homes and raise our kids not to say anything, or they’ll be okay when they are really crying out. It’s not okay, I feel like therapy needs to stop being associated as taboo; I think WE have to change how we see it and understand it so I’m not even concerned with white People this is what I see in our community. I’ve been depressed, I was suicidal, but I went to therapy and talked it out 2 times a week for a year, we can’t knock it until we try it; It’s not about being crazy we’re all crazy it’s about real demons and issues that people deal with”.
“I agree with all of you. I can’t go into too much detail because I’m managing cases in court right now but I do feel like we are taught to not take our home business outside the home and talk to strangers about personal issues and it turns into generational silence. That is something I am still trying to overcome and learn when and how to express how I’m feeling but it is difficult to undo years of hurt damage and pain and not know how your love ones will respond and with me being at a PWI it can easily be associated with “white people issues” but it’s a human issue”.
Instagram Followers Thoughts:
” Because we do not get the help we let it linger”. ( @suzette0212)
“Because as a kid, you are taught, what goes on in this house, STAYS in this house. So you never seek outside help, but there’s nobody for you to talk to within your household”. (@tristanjonez)
“Because when someone tries to talk about it the first thing that someone says is ‘it’s the devil/evil spirits’ and to only pray about it”. (@golden___goddess_)
“We are paying enough attention to others we are taught to mind our business a little too much. We are taught not to complain and end up holding it all in until it ends up making sick”. (@polishmepoised)
“In a world that says that our ‘incapacities’ are inherently connected to our race, seeking help seems like we are admitting to that racist logic”. (@gilmejia__)
Here are some videos to learn about depression and mental illness within the Black & Latino Communities
We have to learn that it is okay to realize that we need help. We need to learn that it is okay to express oneself. If you are seeking help, please visit Depression Resources| Everyday Health .