De-Stigmatizing Mental Health for BIPOCS
Many people are now beginning to realize the importance of mental health. While it has always been vital to one’s well-being, the pandemic has left a lasting mark on our psyche’s. Still, there is a stigma surrounding mental health that has yet to be broken. This is especially true for BIPOCs.
Mental health is a complex topic. From genetics to upbringings, to experiences that leave you scarred can all cause a hit on your feelings of contentment and happiness. Mental health becomes even more complex when you factor in the unique issues of the BIPOC community. Due to these complexities, mental health for BIPOCs is a seeped in stigma.
De-Stigmatizing Mental Health
There are many factors that come into play when discussion stigma surrounding mental health for BIPOCS. Many of these reasons are why people in minority communities do not seek mental health treatment, despite knowing they want it.
Barriers to Mental Health Treatment
One of the biggest reasons BIPOCs may not receive help is because of centuries of systemic racism. The trauma’s and injustices of ancestors and our own experiences don’t make it easy to trust in those meant to provide for us. Historically, BIPOCS have been misdiagnosed in the mental and medical fields at alarming rates. At much higher rates, in fact, than Caucasian and other races. Black communities have been exploited by the government and medical communities in the name of “medical advancement.” Leading to a massive, widespread distrust in medical providers across the board.
The Survivalist Mentality
From systemic racism and oppression comes the inherent idea that we are just surviving and not truly living. This creates a barrier to being treated for mental health issues because it has a negative connotation behind it. There’s the idea that we have overcome so much adversity already. But then you fear being told, “There’s something wrong with you,”
Overcoming The Stigma
Mental health issues, in general, are hard enough to de-stigmatize. Though the world has gotten better at it, there is still a long way to go. But for those in the BIPOC, it is very potent trying to de-stigmatize it. If you are still concerned and hesitant about reaching out for mental health support, we want to remind you of a few things.
The Cultural Narrative Is Shifting
In the past decade, there has been more awareness of the importance of mental health in BIPOC communities. Representation in the media is so important. Not only from a movie and tv standpoint, but from a public awareness one as well. Celebrities and influential people such as Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Union, and Jay-Z have not been afraid to speak out about mental health struggles. They have been candid in the past about the positive and influential impacts that counseling has had on their own lives.
Seeing influential people in our community speak up about the importance of therapy is helping to shift the narrative of this being a taboo and often unspoken of, subject matter.
You Are Not Weak
Just because you struggle with mental health issues does not make you weak. It doesn’t make you less of a person. The struggles and adversities that you and our ancestors faced does not make your current situation any less important. Our communities have gone through so much – too much, really – but that does not mean that you don’t deserve help.
More POC Are Becoming Therapists
Perhaps one of the strongest and positive influential changes we have seen is that each year, the amount of black therapists getting their licensures has dramatically increased. There are many more options out there to work with someone who gets you and the complex barriers that you are trying to break through.
Thanks to teletherapy and virtual therapy, you have more options of a pool of therapists to choose from.
If you are ready to break through barriers and begin fully living, reach out to us today to begin this journey.