Mental Health Awareness: Black & Brown Pain
by Laquita D. Wright

" in five Americans has a mental illness, but African Americans are the least likely to seek treatment and have a long history of being misdiagnosed."

Based on her own experience and work with minority communities, Wright believes that centuries of slavery trauma (PTSS) has recorded itself in black people's DNA. This has, in turn, produced in them post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She uses her insight and research to explain why such statements as "Racism is a mental illness" are unhelpful. Rather, facts show that racial stigma can result in compromised immune systems and that mental issues are linked to poverty and fear of racial violence.

Experts on black communities agree that to fix problems there must be a level playing field. Doctors who better understand the needs of this community would need not to short change emergency room services. Areas serviced only by mini-marts and known as "food deserts" would need to provide shopping facilities with nutritious food choices. Southern states ought to adjust an Affordable Care Act insurance income limit that wrongly results in a Medicaid coverage gap in those areas. Wright condemns "Negro Madness Disease" as a disjointed view where blacks refuse to believe the harsh truths of white bias, expecting negative attitudes to change on their own.

Wright is a Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist, a business consultant for the State of Tennessee, and is studying community and health services. Her short, must-read book is filled with eye-opening facts and poignant appeals. Especially powerful is a quote from a homeless woman with a history of mental health issues: "I don't need to talk about my problems. I need a place to live so that I won't be scared all the time." The author enhances her work with timely headlines on topics such as the reparations offered as part of Lloyd's of London's 2020 apologies to ethnic communities targeted by slavery practices, BLM, and recent black deaths at the hands of police officers in America.

Return to USR Home