A Community Discussion on African American Men and
A Community Discussion on African American Men and Mental Health Presented by the (insert chapter name) chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. What is Brother, Youre on My Mind? Brother, Youre on My Mind is an initiative from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Our mission is to help start conversations about mental health in African American men. We want you to: Be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness in
African American men Understand the barriers to treating depression that are unique to African American men Know what you can do to help yourself and your loved ones What is Mental Health? Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being Factors that contribute to mental health include: Genes or brain chemistry Life experiences, such as abuse or traumatic experiences A family history of mental problems
Barriers to Mental Health Treatment Reasons why so few African Americans receive mental health care include: Stigma Lack of access to care Lack of insurance
Poor cultural understanding by therapists Why Are We Afraid to Talk About Mental Health? Psycho Weirdo Crazy Schizo Basketcase Wacko Stigma is when someone views you in a negative way
because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait thats thought to be a disadvantage. African American Men and Mental Health: A Snapshot 1 in 5 Americans struggle with mental illness every year. African Americans are 20% more likely to have serious psychological distress than whites
are. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among African Americans ages 15 to 24. African American men are 4 times more likely to die
by suicide than African American women are. The proportion of African Americans who need mental health treatment and get it is only half that of
whites. Signs of Depression Depression symptoms can be different for each person. Common signs of depression in men: Aches, pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems Loss of interest in activities the person used to enjoy, including sex Problems concentrating, remembering information, or making decisions Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much Signs of Depression
Depression symptoms can be different for each person. Common signs of depression in men: Eating too much or not wanting to eat at all Thinking about or attempting suicide Experiencing feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, or pessimism How Can You Be a Friend to Someone With Depression? Reach out. You may want to say: Ive been worried about you. How are youreally? Ive noticed some changes in you lately, and I wanted to check
in with you. It sounds like youre having a tough time. It must be really hard to try to hold everything together when youre feeling this bad. When did you start feeling like this? Did something happen that started it? I understand. How can I help you to find help? Feeling depressed isnt a sign of weakness. It takes courage to speak up. How Can You Be a Friend to Someone With Depression? Dont make him regret opening up to you. It takes courage
to speak about depression. DO NOT say: Its all in your head. Youre just having a bad day.
Im sure its nothing to worry about. Man up. You can deal with this on your own. Why are you talking about this stuff? You dont want people to think youre crazy. Counseling is for sissies. What will your family say? Group Exercise Treating Depression Depression is treatable and recovery is possible Treatment options include:
Counseling Psychotherapy Medication A mental health professional can work with you to design a treatment plan that best fits your individual needs Faith and spirituality can be a part of your healing from depression Maintaining Positive Mental Health Strategies that doctors recommend for maintaining positive mental health include: Keeping in touch with friends and family who can provide
emotional support Engaging in physical activity every day Saying no to new responsibilities when your plate is full Getting enough sleep Seeking help from a mental health professional when stress becomes overwhelming Questions? Resources For more information about the initiative, visit: www.oppf.org
www.nimhd.nih.gov Mental Health Resources National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1800273TALK (8255) Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline: 1877SAMHSA7 (18777264727) National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) Add local resource Add local resource
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