Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

The birth of a child is one of life’s most profound changes. And while it’s often met with joy and celebration, it’s also a time when new mothers are extremely susceptible to depression and anxiety.

African American Mental Health

African American Mental Health

Overview

There are an estimated 45 million African Americans in the United States, making up roughly 15.2% of the country’s population. The U.S. Census Bureau has estimated that the number of African Americans will grow to 74.5 million, or 17.9% of the U.S. population. Since those who identify as African American can include more than one race, these statistics include individuals who both identify solely as African American and include an African American identity.

 

Mental Health

Although African Americans constitute a relatively small portion of the U.S. population, they tend to experience mental health diagnosis and treatment in a significantly different way.

  • Adult African Americans are much more likely to report serious psychological distress-- about 20% more, according to Mental Health America.
  • Of those who do report serious issues, only a third receive treatment.
  • While the suicide rate for African Americans is relatively low-- around 5.4%-- there has been recent evidence to suggest that there is an increase in suicide rates for young African American males.
  • African Americans are also less likely to have private health insurance compared to Whites, and are conversely more likely to rely on public health insurance.

Mental Health Status, Services, and Disparities

African Americans are represented in most, if not all, mental health disorder statistics, but have a unique set of factors that can be considered a barrier or protective factor.

Barriers to Care

  • Lack of Access to Treatment: 28% of African Americans live at or below the poverty line. Nearly 18% of African Americans are uninsured, and almost half use public insurance. This is a large reason why many African Americans do not or cannot seek treatment, as care can be difficult to find and/or afford. African Americans also represent 40% of the homeless population, which is a risk factor itself for mental illness.
  • Misdiagnosis by Mental Health Professionals: African Americans, especially males, tend to be overrepresented in certain disorders or illnesses. Cultural factors may be at play here, as only a small portion of the professional psychiatric community is African American, and may not know how to correctly identify certain symptoms or mindsets that are unique to the African American experience.
  • Cultural Factors: As mentioned above, culture definitely plays a large role in determining how African Americans receive care. There has long been a stigma in the African American community in regards to mental health, leading some to forego treatment in lieu of familial or community support.
  • Stress: African Americans are more likely to experience certain risk factors that contribute to mental health disorders. For example, African Americans are more likely to experience violent crime, and therefore have relatively high rates of PTSD in the community.

How Can We Fix This?

Despite the above factors, some mental health professionals have noticed an increase in the amount of African Americans seeking mental health treatment. Though this is a great start, there is a lot that can be done to close the gap.

  • Increase cultural competency and awareness: African American cultural identity is important, and should be used to establish a positive dialogue between those who seek help and the professionals who provide treatment. Awareness efforts with an African American focus can help provide the necessary education to reduce the stigma within the community.
  • Increase the amount of services available in underserved areas: Since 2009, mental health funds have been cut by $1.6 billion across the country. Those who rely on public services for mental health care and treatment have been at a disadvantage, as resources have gotten harder to find. Greater access to these services will allow those who need treatment to get help quicker.
  1. "Black or African American Populations." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 July 2015.  
  2. "African American Communities and Mental Health." Mental Health America. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2015.
  3. "African Americans." African Americans. American Psychological Association, n.d. Web. 12 July 2015.
  4. "Facts and Figures." AFSP. American Foundation for Suicide Preventionm, n.d. Web. 12 July 2015. <https%3A%2F%2Fwww.afsp.org%2Funderstanding-suicide%2Ffacts-and-figures>.
  5. "African Americans Have Limited Access to Mental and Behavioral Health Care." Http://www.apa.org. American Psychological Association, n.d. Web. 15 July 2015. <http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/minority/access.aspx>.
  6. "African Americans." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. National Alliance on Mental Illness, n.d. Web. 15 July 2015. <https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nami.org%2FFind-Support%2FDiverse-Communities%2FAfrican-Americans>.
  7. "African American Communities and Mental Health." Mental Health America. Mental Health America, n.d. Web. 16 July 2015. <http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/african-american-mental-health>.
  8. "Mental Health & African Americans." Mental Health. Office of Minority Health, n.d. Web. 16 July 2015. <http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=24>.
  9. "State Budget Cuts Report." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. National Alliance on Mental Illness, n.d. Web. 16 July 2015. <http://www2.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=state_budget_cuts_report>.

Latino Mental Health

Latino Mental Health

Latinos are the largest minority in the United States, constituting roughly 54 million and making up 17% of the U.S. population. Latinos are also the fastest growing minority: the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by the year 2030, the population may grow to nearly one fourth of the population . The Latino population is made up primarily by Mexicans (66.1%), Central and South Americans (14.5%), Puerto Ricans (9%), Cubans (4%), and other Hispanics/Latinos (6.4%).

American Indian & Alaskan Native Mental Health

American Indian & Alaskan Native Mental Health

American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) make up approximately 1.5% of the U.S population. This means that about 4.1 million Americans identify themselves as having American Indian or Alaskan Native heritage, making them the smallest minority group in the country. Of these 4.1 million individuals 33% of them lack health insurance and about 57% of AI/AN rely only on the Indian Health Services (IHS) for care.

Mental Health & Violence

Comment

Mental Health & Violence

While 99.99% of people suffering from mental health conditions never become violent, I hope someday people become less afraid to take an action when they see extremely bizarre behavior or hear someone speaking violently. In these situations I always suggest engaging professionals right away. Don't play the role of the police or mental health professional. 

Comment

Bipolar Employee - Disruptive or Productive?

The answer can be BOTH. Managers have often asked me how to deal with an employee who is disruptive (that does not necessarily mean all disrupters have a bipolar condition). I ask them two questions; Is the employee often extremely productive? Have you had a private discussion with them to see if there is some event in their life causing a high stress level or anxiety? Anxiety disorder has become one of the most common mental health conditions. 

Community Engagement and Positive Mental Health

Community Engagement and Positive Mental Health

Humans are social creatures. Many of us prefer to laugh, sing, and dance in the presence of others (although a solo jam session is never a bad idea). Here at NoStigmas, we value the importance of community and mental health to improve our understanding of ourselves and others in efforts to make actions more meaningful and effective.

The Power and Responsibility of Community

We asked Tiffany, "What does community mean to you?" To her, the term "It takes a village" sums it up. Being from Trinidad & Tobago, community is part of the culture and everyone has a part to play. We couldn't agree more! That's why we've designed the NoStigmas Network as a partnership.

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

The Significance of Sharing Your Story

We asked Jasmine two questions: 1. What does it mean to have a platform to share your story? 2. Does it scare you to share your story? As someone who has been affected by mental illness, she gets real about the impact it has on her life. Have you ever shared your story?

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

How Has Your Perception of Mental Health Changed?

Alicia talks about how personal experiences and studying psychology has changed her mind about people living with mental illness. Do you have any preconceived notions about people who live with mental health issues? Have you been personally affected by those stigmas? What can we do to adjust that thinking?

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

What Does "Home" Mean to You?

Tiffany talks about the concept of home and the impact is has on her identity. What does "home" mean to you? How does this idea impact your mental health? ----- No one should face mental illness or suicidal loss alone.

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

[Real Talk] Mental Health Affects Everyone

Paul gets real about people's quirks and how we all just wanna feel normal. Sometimes if may feel like you're strange and all alone with your mental health, but that's what brings us together in this world. Let's celebrate our differences and have compassion for people who are struggling.

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

Real Talk: When Someone's Going Through a Tough Time

Kip has a message for people who are struggling:

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

Real Talk: Being a Friend When Times Get Tough

Q: What's something someone has done to help you through a tough time? Skye: There would be times when my best friend knew I was going through an episode and she would just let me go through it. And that was sometimes the best thing for me.

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

How Do You Take Care of Your Mental Health?

Jasmine: I'm a really faith driven person so I spend a lot of time in the bible, prayer, meditation, I do my yoga. I do things that help center me. Whether that's through the vertical or the horizontal, whatever I need. If I need some uplifting energy throughout the day, meditation.

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

[Real Talk] What do you wish people knew about mental health?

Tiffany tells us what she wishes people knew about mental health.

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

[Real Talk] How did you grow up thinking about mental illness?

Ella describes her experiences growing up as the daughter of a therapist.

Q: How did you grow up thinking about mental illness?

A: I grew up thinking that everyone knew about mental illness.

NOSTIGMAS CORE VALUES

- We all have a responsibility for our own mental health.

- A person is not defined by their diagnosis and should be treated as an individual.

- No one should feel alone in their mental health journey.

- It’s important to speak up when you need support or see someone who does.

- It’s essential to use non-stigmatizing, respectful language when communicating about mental illness and suicide.

- Everyone deserves equal access to the care they need.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, COMMUNITY, & ADVOCACY

We believe everyone can and should take responsibility for their own mental health. Your wellness journey is your own, and it has unique steps that only you can recognize and choose to take. Self-care is an essential part of your own health and your ability to advocate for yourself and others.

While you alone can take steps toward wellness, we also believe that none of us should have to experience that journey alone. That’s why we foster a community dedicated to supporting each other in an environment of acceptance and equality. Our individual journeys are unique, and we are whole people with rich identities beyond a diagnosis. We believe in speaking up when we see someone in need of support, and not being afraid to ask for that support ourselves.

Advocacy can also happen in a world outside our own community. As both a community and individuals, we're able to take action that promotes mental health equality and suicide prevention. This includes raising awareness about mental health, advocating for the use of non-stigmatized language, promoting access to mental health treatment, and generally taking a stand to further the cause of mental health awareness.

By living these core values, we strive to make our community full of empowered NoStigmas Advocates!

Peer Support FAQ

Peer Support FAQ

In addition to being part of a healthy support system, peer support programs provide a multitude of benefits.

Beyond Detox: Addiction Warriors Share the Surprising Benefits of Rehabilitation and Finding a Forever Recovery

Beyond Detox: Addiction Warriors Share the Surprising Benefits of Rehabilitation and Finding a Forever Recovery

It’s tricky to know what to expect when you enter addiction treatment — and unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding addiction, so many people are reluctant to reach out for help when they’re struggling.


We spoke to graduates of rehabilitation programs from across the country, and they told us that detox is only the first step, and it’s one worth taking! What comes afterward is self-discovery, understanding, and finally, transformation.

When Bi-Polar Disorder Affects the Workplace

When Bi-Polar Disorder Affects the Workplace

When Carol was in her manic phase, she was one of my most energetic, creative and successful employees. Carol (not her real name) would work until midnight to meet impossible deadlines she often self-imposed. The next morning, she was at it again, all while filling any potential time voids with volunteer project work.