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Mental Health and Our Communities

Mental health is important to all of us. If we understand how mental health impacts our communities, we can support the care journey by empowering individuals to receive the help they need and deserve. A mental health condition refers to a wide range of disorders or illnesses that can affect mood, behavior, feeling, or thinking.1,4

Hero Resources and Tools
About 1 in 20

Serious mental health conditions

About 1 in 20 American adults experience serious mental health conditions, like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.1,4 Each condition has its own signs and symptoms, such as feeling very sad or low, having difficulty perceiving reality, or being unable to do daily activities.1


Disparities in
mental health

Disparities in mental health diagnosis and care make it hard for Black adults living with serious mental illness to access and sustain culturally responsive care.2,3 It may be difficult to find appropriate care teams and supportive services that reflect the impact of culture, beliefs, and racial bias.


Empowering communities

Empowering communities and individuals with services and resources that are immediately accessible may improve the health care journey.

Community Initiatives

See a sample of the Community Health Equity Alliance initiatives helping to raise awareness, navigate care, and engage communities. Resources have been created by and for Black adults living with serious mental health conditions, advocates, community stakeholders, and care team providers.

The content on this site is intended for educational purposes only and should not take the place of talking with your doctor or healthcare professional. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have any questions about your medical condition, talk to your healthcare professional.

Raise awareness

For community members and organizations seeking to raise awareness, sharing perspectives from those with lived experience can help reduce stigma, improve understanding of serious mental illness, and connect community members to available resources. Community-informed awareness activities may include podcasts, webinars, blogs, and educational programs.

  • Silence the Shame

    Faith & Mental Health Podcast

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  • Unapologetically Black Unicorns

    #BlackMentalHealth Podcast Series

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  • Balm in Gilead Breaking the Chains of Mental Health Inequity webinar

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  • Painted Brain

    Peer Mental Health Journal

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  • The National Council for Mental Wellbeing

    Social Justice Leadership Academy

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  • HHS Office of Minority Health

    Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals

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Navigate care

There are many reasons Black adults in the United States often do not use mental health services, including facing prejudice and discrimination, cost and insurance, and structural barriers. Community-informed navigation resources can help adults with lived experience and their support networks understand how to access culturally responsive mental health care and related support services.

  • 988, Mental Health Equity & Care Journey Resource

    988 is a hotline that connects people to the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, where confidential, compassionate, accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis.

  • Allegheny County African American Mental Health Resource Guide

    This guide shares key community information and resources so people can connect with mental health care in Allegheny County.

  • Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective

    Wellness Tools and Virtual Directory

  • California Journey Map

    The serious mental illness journey is personal and individual. Resources, information, and support services that work may vary person to person. This journey map can be customized to help you seek and access support based on your needs.

  • Georgia Mental Health Access Map

    Finding and accessing support services when living with a serious mental illness can be challenging. This mental health access map helps connect you to Georgia-based resources that can make support services such as treatment, housing, and employment opportunities more accessible.

  • Houston, TX Navigation Resource

    The mental healthcare system can feel difficult to navigate. Knowing when to seek care, where to go, and who to engage may help. This navigation resource provides information on accessing and finding help when you need it.

  • Silence the Shame

    Mental Health Resources

Engage communities

Community-informed mental health solutions are developed by and for individuals with lived experience, community leaders, and local organizations in areas of importance to Black communities. These areas may include systems of care navigation, peer support, and faith-based education. When planning for local mental health programs, consider involving organizations focused on mental health advocacy, faith, civic, and healthcare professional services.

  • Confronting Stigma Film and Panel

    This film premiered on the South Side of Chicago with a panel discussion following the screening. The panelists will confront the stigma that too often exists among Black/African Ancestry men when it comes to accessing mental health care.

  • North Carolina Mental Health Resource Kit

    Culturally responsive care reflects a person’s beliefs and cultural background, individual goals, and preferred ways of support. This resource kit equips North Carolina community leaders and members with information on serious mental illness and equitable care.

  • Mental Health Faith Bulletins

    Too many people in the United States are experiencing mental health-related distress without the support and care they need. The faith community can help reduce stigma around mental illness and guide those seeking mental health care to a healthcare professional.

  • The Balm in Gilead

    Health Education Resource Center

  • Mental Health America (MHA)

    Mental Health Screening and Decision-Making Tools

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

    Sharing Hope: Mental Wellness in the Black Community