Mental Health in the Black Community

It is challenging to talk about mental health

For many in our community, it can be incredibly challenging to discuss the topic of mental health due to concerns about how they may be perceived by others.


When a person is experiencing challenges with their mental health, it is essential for that person to receive quality care as soon as the symptoms are recognized.


The Black community, like other communities of color, are more likely to experience socioeconomic disparities such as exclusion from health, educational, social, and economic resources.


NAMI works to build equity in mental health resources through education, support, and advocacy.

A message from Chelle Thomas, VP, Director of Peer Programs

Dear neighbor and members of our community,


No doubt COVID 19 has made it tougher to get by. Many of us are worried about our day-to-day survival. The effects of racism and racial trauma on mental health are real and cannot be ignored. It can be a very stressful situation right now.


In my mind, what is important is to take care of ourselves and take care of each other.


All the volunteers and staff members from NAMI Long Beach Area hope and pray we can provide you with some relief during these times.


I want you to know that there is always a helping hand, someone to talk to, people who care.

Yours in Health and Safety,

 Marilyn Michelle Thomas ("Chelle")

 VP, Director of Peer Programs

 NAMI Long Beach Area


Finding culturally competent support

A person should be able to feel that their identity is

understood by their provider. When meeting with a provider, it can be helpful to ask questions to get a sense of their level of cultural awareness. Some questions could be:

  • Have you treated other Black people or received training in cultural competence for Black Mental Health?
  • If not, how do you plan to provide me with culturally sensitive, patient-centered care?
  • Do you use a different approach in your treatment when working with patients from different cultural backgrounds?
  • How do you see our cultural backgrounds influencing our communication and my treatment?
  • What is your current understanding of differences in health outcomes for Black patients?