It remains taboo in the black community to seek mental health services. It feels unsafe, it is intimidating, and it is not the place to air your dirty laundry. These beliefs need to change, says Darcia Miller, a licensed master social worker with The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health in Royal Oak, Michigan. She knows they are true … not just by her work as a mental health therapist, but as an African American woman who was raised with these beliefs. And she also knows it is time to change these views. We are supposed to trust the mental health system because it helps people, it protects them and provides resources, but will it really be safe, will it really help African Americans?Generation after generation, black families have taught their children to be fearful of the world; don’t draw attention to yourself and your family. They constantly live in a survival mode. Will their child return home safely? Will the police show up unexpectedly at their house? Black families believe the world is an unsafe place, and these beliefs continue one generation after another.
During a Smart Sex, Smart Love podcast, Darcia discusses why it is difficult for African Americans to seek mental health services and provides some advice on how to overcome these issues and seek help when you need it.