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.
According to the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the number of ER visits related to mental health has increased. In response, AAHP now provides a mental health screening tool for individuals to make an informal personal assessment of their mental health and to receive referrals for local mental health resources. It's quick, easy, and participation and results are completely confidential. Please click on the button below to access.
For more information, please call 240.777.1833.
❝ When I became pregnant, I got involved with the African American Health Program's infant mortality focus area. AAHP gave me the chance to meet every week with a nurse, and we discussed everything I could do to make sure that Michael was born healthy. After Michael's birth, I still had weekly home meetings with my nurse. She answered all of my questions - about breast feeding, sleeping and all the things new mothers worry about. With AAHP, I feel like I am making the right choices - and I can see the results every day in Michael.❞
❝ But we are also each other’s best resource. Preventing type 2 diabetes and managing diabetes involves the entire family. Cook a balanced meal. Share a brisk walk. Talk with your family about your health and your family’s diabetes risk. Schools, work sites and places of worship can also be part of the diabetes prevention and management solution. What we can do alone to fight diabetes and its consequences, we can do so much more effectively together.❞ –NIDDK, NIH