The cultural differences between African-Americans and other racial groups has created a chicken-egg phenomenon within the mental health community. Are the disparities between the racial groups due to institutionalized racism and the lack of resources for minority groups? Or are there disparities because Black people and other ethnic groups choose not to discuss their mental health problems and participate in treatment? I would argue that it is a bit of both.
It has recently been confirmed that United States Congressman, Jesse Jackson Jr., is being treated for depression. For approximately seven weeks, Jackson Jr. had been absent from his congressional duties but the public was never made fully aware of why. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma inside the Black community regarding mental illness. Bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses have very negative connotations; especially when associated with men of color. Men, regardless of ethnicity, who acknowledge any mental health struggles usually have their masculinity questioned. This usually prevents us from seeking diagnosis or treatment.