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African American Men & Mental Health: Understanding the Stigma

African American Men & Mental Health: Understanding the Stigma

Care Alliance Health Center believes in treating the Whole You. Your mind, body, and spirit are all connected. As people are discussing mental health more publicly, there still remains a stigma in the African American male community. According to the Journal of Men’s Health and Gender, African American men are often socialized in homes where masculinity and strength are emphasized, leaving little room for vulnerability. Combined with systemic racism and societal pressure, mental health treatment often lies on the backburner for African American Men.  


In a discussion with Behavioral Health Manager at Care Alliance, Chadwick Sunday, African American men are conditioned to be “Every Man.” Sunday states, “When accused of not taking responsibility for childcare or household expenses, there is a personal judgment of self and from society.” Counseling is about making oneself vulnerable. “That’s a tall ask to be vulnerable and say they don’t have it all figured out,” says Sunday. Chadwick Sunday’s remedy for this is to remind his patients that none of us, rich, famous, or otherwise have it all figured out. He honors the resistance that men show when they show up to their first counseling appointment and establishes trust and safety.

There are a few misconceptions when comes to mental health treatment. By understanding the truth about mental health services, this will help get more African American men the help that they need and remove the stigma.

1. You Don't Need a Referral to Receive Mental Health Services. It is as easy as scheduling an appointment and talking to a licensed professional.

2. Medication is not the First Option. Your counselor will discuss the symptoms that you are experiencing and work with you to cope with them in the healthiest way possible. Medication is only one form of treatment that is combined with therapy, support, and self-care resources.

3. Going to Therapy does not Make You Weak. Anyone can develop a mental health condition. There is no single cause or way to prevent it.

4. Your Visit is Confidential. Care Alliance keeps all medical records confidential. You cannot lose your job or health insurance for mental health or substance abuse treatment.

Join us at the Aches, Pains, & Automobiles: Men's Health Tune-Up on Saturday, June 22nd at 10 am. Check out some cool antique cars and get a mental health assessment!

If you would like to schedule an appointment today, click HERE or call 216-535-9100. One of our representatives will reach out to you to confirm your appointment.

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