Black Mental Health Summit
On Friday, July 15, 2022, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania convened its first-ever Black Mental Health Summit at the Kingsley Association. The summit addressed the unique challenges that members of Pittsburgh’s Black community are facing, including how stigma can be a barrier to seeking treatment, and the obstacles experienced when getting help.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused increases in stress, anxiety, and fear for people across the country. For Black Americans, historical trauma, discrimination, community violence, and economic insecurity also impact mental health. And concerns had been building before the pandemic.
In 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Black Americans, ages 15 to 24. Black females, grades 9-12, were 60 percent more likely to attempt suicide compared to non-Hispanic white females of the same age.
According to NAMI’s webpage on Black American mental health, the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health reports that Black adults in the U.S. are more likely than white adults to report persistent symptoms of emotional distress, such as sadness, hopelessness and feeling like everything is an effort.
At the summit, stakeholders discussed what mental health means to each of them, the challenges and factors that must be considered, and what we can do collectively to support our communities.
Speakers included a representative from Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey’s office; YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh CEO Angela Reynolds, PhD, who delivered the keynote address; and NAMI Bucks County PA Board Member Reggie Howard gave a NAMI In Our Own Voice presentation. NAMI Keystone PA Board President Dr. Charma D. Dudley moderated a group discussion.
Allegheny County African American Resource Guide
Pulse Report for Children and Families
Ring the Alarm: The Crisis of Black Youth Suicide in America
Mental Health Disparities: African Americans | American Psychiatric Association
NAMI Fact Sheets
You Are Not Alone
Mental Health Care Matters
Common Warning Signs of Mental Illness
It’s Okay to Talk About Suicide
Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System
Finding a Culturally Competent Provider
Fact sheets from the AKA-NAMI partnership (focus on African Americans)