Breaking Down Barriers: Mental Health Care For Black Americans

Despite facing mental illness at similar rates to other ethnic groups, Black Americans still receive services at a rate significantly less than other groups. In a 2018 National Survey, 5 million Black Americans reported struggling with mental health issues, yet only 1 in 3 reported receiving appropriate treatment. In fact, many BIPOC report using the emergency room during a mental health crisis instead of mental health specialists.

Although we’re living in a time when mental health is becoming less stigmatized, we cannot ignore the fact that Black Americans still face major socioeconomic barriers when it comes to accessing appropriate mental health care. We would like to take a closer look at the specific barriers that many Black Americans face, and what we as a society can do to help.

Barriers to mental health care for Black Americans

Today’s technology-driven world offers many options for connecting with mental health services. However, in the United States, Black Americans are not getting connected as often as others. There are several significant barriers that can prevent black Americans from accessing mental health care services. Some of these include:

These barriers can contribute to disparities in mental health outcomes for black Americans compared to other groups. It is important to address these barriers and work towards equitable access to mental health care for all individuals.

Breaking barriers  for Black Americans

One positive aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increased prevalence of virtual options for mental health, which has opened doors and provided access to more providers through telehealth options. Also, there are some amazing resources for finding psychiatric resources that specifically support Black Americans, including podcasts, therapist directories for minorities, and online forums. Here are a few helpful starting places:

How Medens is taking action

A critical first step in addressing the gap in mental health treatment for Black Americans is bringing more awareness to this discrepancy. That is why Medens Health takes cultural awareness so seriously.  Acknowledging barriers to mental health access and working toward a more affordable and accessible mental health standard is paramount to creating change. While much work remains in changing the narrative for seeking mental health treatment, Medens Health is committed to doing its part through education, training, and continuing to destigmatize the mental health needs of Black Americans. You can read more about our commitment to cultural awareness and how our staff of diverse therapists provides culturally competent care here.

Ready to connect with a therapist who understands the mental health needs of Black Americans? Reach out to us by phone or text at (833) 624-5400, send us a message using our online contact form, or to register as a new patient get started here.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.