For many years, mental health has been taboo to discuss in the Black community. There is a correlation between Black mental and physical health. A panel discusses this relationship and provides tips to reduce life stressors.
What are the ways that stereotypes affect our mental health?
BDO Ellis Dean: We start to absorb the stereotypes. Because if you tell somebody something enough, they’re going to believe you about themselves. If they don’t know anything else, they’re going to start to believe you.
Dr. GIgi: Shackles of the brain are just as crucial and important and destructive as any other physical health condition. There is nothing in the world’s history, nothing that even comes close to matching what the last several hundred years have been for African Americans, not even close. I’ve said this before that post traumatic slave disorder is real. It is real.
Instead of treating a nine year old, like a nine year old, they will often be treated as much older. Let me ask how does one provide cognitive behavioral therapy. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Prophetess Webb: Cognition is basically how we’re thinking. Let’s look at your behavior, basically, that led you to think and believe what you felt you responded to. We are trying to help them understand the benefit of one’s culture and their faith tradition and helping them to acknowledge and realize what’s going on, how you’re thinking, what shaped your thinking. In cognitive behavioral therapy, we would sit them down and say, okay, let’s examine. It may be painful. And the course, that’s why you have a whole quad, a team, a multidisciplinary team, because if it gets unmanageable, then okay, wait a minute. You don’t need to talk anymore today. We’re gonna then talk to the psychiatrist and suggest that you get a little more strongly medicated before you come in. Because it can be painful to really find the root.
What are the options for the person that does not want to talk about their problems with a stranger?
Prophetess Webb: When dealing with individuals and their cognition and walking people through things, we try to make people comfortable because people have to have an openness to be comfortable, and to be vulnerable, because I don’t know what you’re gonna do with my information. What we try to do is help people get in touch with their God, the way that they relate to their God, which in my faith tradition of being a Christian, is that I serve Jesus Christ. But you may be Muslim. You may be Jewish. You serve in Allah or Yahweh. But we want you to first get in touch with the way you worship. Some people worship God through nature.
BDO Ellis Dean: If somebody has a sound spiritual health that provides some certainty, it provides an anchor for them to where now we can start building on.
Seeking help with mental health has been stigmatized in the African American community. This facebook live digs into ways to combat that stigma and to consider being aware of your mental health the way you are consciously aware of your physical health. Click here to hear more on this topic.