There is new evidence that Black Americans are 20% more likely to deal with serious mental health disorders than White Americans. Meanwhile, people of color are far less likely to seek help for mental health issues than white people. So, what accounts for this discrepancy?
Possible explanation: just four percent of the mental health workforce is comprised of people of color. However, this is not to say that counselors may only effectively collaborate with those with a similar cultural background. Not even close. Yet, it is clear that an individual seeking service must be heard and understood. You want someone to “get you” if you are willing to bare your soul to them.
Why POC Struggle To Connect & Open Up To Non-POC Therapists
To claim that a therapist who shares your cultural background can better empathize with and comprehend your experience as a person of color is, I think, beyond dispute.
Seeing a therapist who is not a person of color might make you feel alienated or misunderstood for many reasons.
- However competent they may be, they will never be able to fully understand the unique challenges you have faced due to things like microaggressions and prejudice.
- You may feel pressured to integrate even in therapy if you’ve spent a lifetime bouncing between several races and dialects.
- You may have lost faith in institutional support, including medical care, and are struggling to find methods to restore it.
- It’s important to be forceful in treatment, yet people of color are sometimes pressured or pushed to remain passive.
- You have to educate your therapist to get better care.
- Suppose your therapist is unwilling or unable to assist you in honestly evaluating your life. In that case, you will never be able to recover completely.
- There are moments when you simply want to talk to someone who shares your appearance.
RELATED: How To Choose The Right Therapist
Adding To The Stress & Distress
Finding a therapist of color may seem difficult since so few of them exist. One of the prerequisites is that you identify as Black. Finding what you need during this quest might seem like looking for a needle in a haystack, which can drain your energy and discourage you.
Consulting friends and family members for recommendations or suggestions may also be out of the question. Within the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community, seeking professional help is sometimes met with a great deal of resistance.
This may seem like a lot of bad news, but it’s vital to keep things in perspective. Why? It is still definitely worth the trouble.
Your happiness in life is heavily dependent on your mental health. That’s right; there are stumbling blocks embedded in the system. This is something you already know. However, the results have the potential to drastically improve one’s quality of life.
The Benefits Of Seeing A Black Therapist
To summarize this part, we may say, “It’s the polar opposite of what was just discussed.” However, there is a lot of