Thanks, “K”. Karen silence as you mentioned generates more difficulty than intervention. The African-American’ culture represents a small unit within a larger paradigm pertaining to mental illness’ stigmatization. Unfortunately, inside America many groups face discrimination and alienation each day. (e.g., GLB, Person with Disabilities)
Conversely, untold numbers of mental illness suffering occur in darkness surrounded by whisper in African-American’ communities. Families ashamed a love one may require mental attention speak softly around the inevitable. Often only until the mentally ill family member becomes unmanageable will a break in secrecy occur. So, a trip to an improvised emergency room brings temporary relief; consequently, these trips occur often until a major eruption happens inside the family unit.
Black People suffer from Depression
Usually African-American lack funds for better healthcare and they routinely intake mentally ill family members through emergency rooms for services. However, these services are band aids and mentally ill family members often are unable to speak with a psychiatrist. It’s a vicious cycle, families keep it a secret and when conditions force medical attention, its handicapped by lack of quality health care.
African-Americans continue to mistrust mental health care in America for this reasons and others. A past systematic often racist and discriminatory process crippled the relationship between America ‘mental health care and African-Americans. African-Americans mistreatment and categorization by mental health care soiled the perception of “Equal Health care” in African-American communities.
Mental Illness exists in the Black community and we need to break down barriers imposed internally and externally now. Preventative health measures have been shunned by outrageous denial, biblical causation and mis-education. Also, the same silence is in affect concerning another killer; HIV/AIDS and black men.
Black Men are Gay and its ok
Preventative health measures have been shunned by outrageous denial, biblical causation and mis-education. Also, the same silence is in affect concerning another killer; HIV/AIDS and black men. In the case of homosexuality among black men, its denial has ravaged the community and particularly black women.
AIDS is the No. 1 cause of death for black women ages 25 to 44, beating out heart disease, cancer and homicide. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women made up 67 percent of AIDS diagnoses among women in 2004 and of all women living with AIDS, 64 percent are estimated to be black. In one HIV study, 34 percent of black men who have sex with men reported having had sex with women, even though only 6 percent of black women reported having had sex with a bisexual man.
A recent study indicated some bleak statistics, “Half of gay men in Chicago who have HIV did not know they were infected, and two-thirds of infected black men were unaware,” “It’s a terrible thing, but it is not surprising,” says Jim Pickett, director of advocacy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
Although the sample of men tested were only 600 a troubling paradigm is forming in the Black community. Silence and denial does not work as a framework to a healthy community. Our long refusal to accept homosexuality now reaches possible epidemic levels of infections among black men and women.
“Thirty percent of gay black men in Chicago tested positive, the study showed, while Hispanics and white men had rates of 12 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively…A quarter of blacks aged 18-24 tested positive. More than 37 percent of blacks aged 25-34 – the highest of any age group – tested positive, ” says Jim Pickett.
“What we think we’re seeing here is the shifting sands of two epidemics,” says Nik Prachand, an epidemiologist with the city of Chicago’s STI/HIV/AIDS division. “What we’re seeing right now is a new surge in (HIV cases) with black (gay men).”
Get our heads out the Sand
How long? What response shall be called. Homosexuality among black men can no longer be hidden, gay black men in the closet does more harm than good. We must accept sexual preference before to late. Our only hope to save a generation will be to accept their lifestyle, so we can talk to each other. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are not different with AIDS, and must move forward and give freedom. The same freedom we desired for our skin color. We must educate ourselves and our community concerning HIV/AIDS.
Conversely, mental illness and HIV/AIDS refusal of cause and effect; and the systematic wiliness to cover ourselves with a transparent veil dismantle our culture. African-Americans must stop mis-education surrounding mental illness and HIV/AIDS. We must accept and begin education and social responsibility surrounding these two killers. Today.