‘Unheard’: The hidden mental health struggles of Black men

Black men discuss the mental health struggles that affect the community.

Black men have always had to fight stigmas, external stimuli, each other and themselves. It’s important to have conversations about these difficult situations because they lead to growth, and not just within our community.

The latest episode of “Unheard” features a roundtable discussion about stigmas, trauma and how Black men have related to society psychologically. It is no secret that discrimination and racism have played a pivotal role in the behavior of Black men and in their mental health journey. In fact, systematic racism has strongly impacted Black men — sometimes in the extreme.

There are ways to alleviate these impacts, though. One in particular is physical activity. It is well-known that exercise delivers mental health benefits, including improved cognitive function and brain health. Physical activity also alleviates anxiety, depression and stress.

It is also important that Black men recognize and acknowledge mental health struggles. (Photo credit: Getty)

It is also important that Black men recognize and acknowledge mental health struggles. This awareness is just as important as an awareness of physical health.

According to Mental Health America, about 46% of people in America will be treated for a mental health disorder at some stage in their life, depression or anxiety disorders are the most common in the United States. These types of illnesses are also the leading topic of disabilities for middle-aged Black people. Putting all this together, mental health disorders like anxiety and depression in Black people — and Black men in particular — only contribute to more reasons to promote healthy eating habits and physical activity.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), focuses on media reports on violence, generational trauma, police brutality in the Black community and people of color in the United States. Within the Black community, mental health challenges continue to rise, per NAMI.

According to the American Psychological Association, Most of the Black community is not receiving the mental health treatment and care they need. This is extremely important when it comes to Black men because of the social restraints of Black masculinity with society. 

The next episode of “Unheard” airs at 1 p.m. ET June 1 on theGrio mobile App, and YouTube.

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