Big Think and the Mental Health Channel are proud to present Big Thinkers on Mental Health, a new series dedicated to open discussion of anxiety, depression, and the many other psychological disorders that affect millions worldwide.
You can't have a frank discussion about mental health within the African-American community without confronting issues related to social trauma. Uncomfortable (and sometimes dangerous) encounters with a distrusted police force. Drugs and crime infesting a neighborhood. The institutional scars of slavery and segregation. These are all issues our contemporary black population must deal with each and every day.
Dr. Michael Lindsey of NYU's Silver School of Social Work sees signs of debilitating trauma throughout black America. He points to two key reasons this is. First, mental illness is unfairly stigmatized in these communities, just as it is throughout American culture. Second, cultural definitions of strength and courage are dictated by efforts to work against institutional ills such as discrimination. How one reacts to these ills, coupled with the community's response to said reaction, adds a lot of tension other Americans don't necessarily have to deal with.
Finally, Lindsey speaks to the value placed on authenticity, a major reason why many sufferers in the black community internalize their strife rather than share it with the outside world.
Learn more at the Mental Health Channel: http://mentalhealthchannel.tv/show/big-thinkers-on-mental-health
Read more at BigThink.com: http://www.bigthink.com/videos/michael-lindsey-mental-health-challenges-for-the-black-community
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