For many years I have heard people in the Black community pass judgment on others by using terms like, “crazy” or “touched”, to identify those that may suffer from mental illness. This history of ignorance has created a huge stigma in our community. The fact is, many Blacks do not believe or acknowledge mental illness as true medical condition. . .
The stigma attached to mental illness in our community is associated with shame and disgrace, hiding that we either don’t believe or acknowledge there is a problem. This shame creates the view that anyone suffering from mental illness is a weak individual, does not have faith in God or is using a diagnosis as an excuse. With these views placed on individuals who are mentally ill in our community, it causes them to believe they are the problem and have to suffer in silence. This silence for many of those suffering means not seeking treatment and getting the support needed to improve their quality of life.
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