Mental Health, Covid & The Black Family

  • If you are Black, you may experience different rates of mental illness than the white population.
  • Things like fear, stigma, and lack of culturally sensitive treatment can act as barriers to accessing mental health care for black people.
  • There are options available to help you overcome any barriers.

There are some organisations that provide mental health support or services specifically to people from a Black background. (if you are one, please register your business on our directory service)

  Why Are Rates of mental illness different for Black people?

Rates of mental illness for people from the Black community are often greater than for white people.

Compared to white people:

  • black women are more likely to experience a common mental illness such as anxiety disorder or depression,
  • black men are more likely to experience psychosis, and
  • black people are more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act

But more white people receive treatment for mental health issues than people from the Black community, and they have better outcomes.

Some of the reasons why there are different rates of mental illness for people from the Black Community are:

  • inequalities in wealth and living standards,
  • bias, discrimination and racism,
  • stigma about mental health, and
  • they are less likely to have mental health issues identified early enough which could avoid contact with the criminal justice system

People from Black Community are more likely to be living on lower incomes (despite doing the same job) than white people. And people living on a lower income are more likely to develop and experience mental health issues.

People from Black backgrounds regularly explain that many of the barriers they face when accessing mental health care are:

  • cultural barriers where mental health issues aren’t recognised or aren’t seen as important,
  • language barriers
  • professionals having a lack of knowledge about things that are important to a person of colour or their experiences,
  • white professionals not being able to fully understand what racism or discrimination is like,
  • lack of publicity of mental health support and services in some communities,
  • stereotyping. For example, some white people think that black people with mental health issues will get angry or aggressive, conscious and unconscious bias, and
  • stigma about mental illness in some communities stops some people of colour seeking help. They can feel ashamed.

Read more about mental health health in Children by clicking here


With schools reopening in September, many children who were at home for months, went back to school. However, Cheryl Phoenix, has stated that she has “seen a sharp rise in cases of children having meltdowns” within the school environment. Children spend 30+ hours within the school environment, parents leave their children in their care, and the government has put out guidance to all schools on how to support children and young people who may be impacted by the pandemic.

However, where Black students are concerned teaching staff seem to feel it is ok to use harsh punishment like lengthy detentions, of up to 2 hours, constant isolation & being externally, then permanently excluded from school. Rather than putting in place support strategies for children who may be experiencing a challenging time being at school, they are kicked out and accused of being a threat to schools, and teachimng staff.

We are speaking about CHILDREN, not animals..!!

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