Michelle Obama Takes A Stand To End Mental Health Stigma

Michelle Obama courtesy of The White House Instagram

Michelle Obama courtesy of The White House Instagram

“The stigma around talking about mental health and getting help for it just doesn’t make any sense,” First Lady Michelle Obama said in an interview in the October issue of Prevention magazine. “This is an issue that affects us all.”

The First Lady is right. How many times have members of African American families dismissed a family member or friend who “isn’t right in the head” or “just a little touched?”

According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. Common mental health disorders among African Americans include:

– Major depression
– Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
– Suicide, among young African American men
– Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), because African Americans are more likely to be victims of violent crime