Mental health problems in the United States is an ongoing issue especially within the African American community.

Historically people of color have experienced unique circumstances and challenges in accessing mental health issues.

According to Mental Health America, in spite of the progress we have made over the years, racism continues to have a strong impact on the mental health of African Americans.

I recently had a phone conversation with Dr. Sharon Thompson to get more information on mental health especially when it comes to black men.

One of the things Dr. Thompson pointed out is that mental health is complicated for everyone not just African Americans, but with stigmas and denials about the condition our approach is different than the other.

When it comes to African Americans and how we deal with mental issues our first line of defense has been our church, faith, and religion.  However, the problem has a deeper lining that needs to be addressed by a Physician.

Historically, African Americans have been and continue to be negatively affected by prejudice and discrimination in the health care system according to the National Alliance of Mental Health.

It was reported recently in the L.A. Times that 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to die at the hands of police, according to a new analysis of deaths involving law enforcement officers.

That number is terrifying as I explained to Dr. T about the mental anguish of being targeted by law enforcement and even the lasting effects after the encounter to which I have even considered seeking mental help.

Mental health is to be taken serious and if you or someone you know is dealing with it I ask of you to seek help and get treatment and who knows it could possibly save your life.

You can contact your local mental health clinic or call the National Treatment Referral Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).