According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. Common mental health disorders among African Americans include depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suicide, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which are often rooted in socioeconomic conditions like poverty, homelessness and violence. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia also disproportionally impact African Americans because of lack of access to health care. The perception of mental illness and depression as personal weaknesses and the tendency to manage mental health issues within the family and church community also hinder African Americans from seeking professional medical treatment.
AAHP’s Mental Health focus area provides resources and education to promote understanding of and treatment for mental health. In line with other focus area directives, AAHP emphasizes the importance of exercise and good health habits to boost mental health.