For those of us diagnosed with mental illnesses and our families and loved ones, we know all to well the effects of these inequalities from personal and first hand experiences. For those of us like me, we also know of the extreme health and mental health disparities that exist within our communities of color. Within communities of color, the first introduction to mental health care is usually involuntary commitment to hospitals and/or incarceration in jails both resulting in trauma, humiliation and reducing the likelihood of voluntarily seeking services when needed.
Many people who look like me, do not have access to basic health services and worse yet, do not have access to mental health services. Our culture, is so greatly impacted by self-stigma that we deny we have mental health issues and subsequently refuse to seek treatment.
by Keris Jän Myrick, Pete Earley Blog