Building an Anti-Racist Mental Health System for Black Americans

The Lancet Psychiatry journal publishes a series of three papers on Black mental health in the U.S., accompanied by an essay from Black Americans with lived experience, highlighting the pervasive impact of systematic racism on mental health outcomes. The research underscores centuries of racial disparities in mental care, attributing risk to factors like lower-quality education, impoverished neighborhoods, and exposure to violence.

The authors advocate for systemic change, emphasizing community-driven, culturally sensitive mental health care to address historical exclusion and promote equity. The series calls for a comprehensive analysis to dismantle systemic racism and emphasizes the pivotal role of community-based participatory research.

“Improving the mental health and wellness of Black Americans requires acknowledging and confronting systemic racism underlying the U.S. political, social, and health care systems that create and maintain racial inequality in every aspect of life for Black people in the US.”

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