Black Men and Mental Health
Updated: Jan 26
I’ve often heard that Black men in particular are expected to act strong at all times.
Why is that?
Growing up, I don’t ever recall seeing or hearing black men discuss their most intimate feelings and you can FORGET about crying.
Black men are expected to be tough at all times and showing emotions is seen as ‘soft’, ‘weak’ or I remember boys being called a gay slur which is unacceptable. And if they do show emotion, they are ridiculed for it.
That’s why many men tend to suppress their emotions.
This story caught my attention recently. A young black man committed suicide after being bullied for dating a trans- gendered woman.
It’s unfortunate that people are still being bullied based on how they live their lives.
Stories such as the one mentioned prior create barriers and may even silence people from expressing themselves in fear of judgement.
In addition, Evidence shows that Black men are far more likely than others to be diagnosed with severe mental health problems and are also far more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Systematic racism may be a contributing factor to such horrific statistics.
Systematic racism are based on policies in established institutions that favour one demographic group and excludes others. This may be described as covert racism; racism that is not intentional.
We have other things that concern me institutional racism.
Institutional racism is a form of racism that is practiced in political and social institutions worldwide.
Even though BME are the minority within UK, more than half of young people in jail are from BME backgrounds (Black and minority ethnic). Being in prison has detrimental effects on one’s mental health.
“25% of women and 15% of men in prison reported symptoms indicative of psychosis. The rate among the general public is about 4%.”
With the current stigma surrounding BME and mental health, it may be difficult for some to discuss how they are feeling and even reach out for help.
More and more people of colour are discussing their battle with mental health on a global front. It will help those that are scared to discuss their mental wellbeing even with close family and friends.
If you have concerns about your mental wellbeing, please try to talk someone. There are many online places where you can talk to healthcare professionals about your mental health.
Your mental health matters.
You matter so take care of yourself.
Thank you for reading and take care.