National Alliance on Mental Illness
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African American Community Mental Health Fact Sheet 

African American Women and Depression Fact Sheet

A Family Guide to Mental Health: What You Need to KnowNAMI: A Family Guide to Mental Health for African Americans
NAMI's popular booklet for the African American community with ordering information. Personal stories and quotes  provide important information on mental illness and how it affects the family in a real-world tone. The colorful resource carries the messages that you are not alone, recovery is possible and identifies where to find more information and where to seek help.

Sharing Hope: Understanding Mental Health
NAMI's initiative to foster dialogue, decrease mental health stigma and increase awareness of mental health recovery through education and support  programming in partnership with organizations with a predominantly African American membership or service population . Follow the above link for details.  

NAMI short video featuring African American NAMI leaders' perspectives on mental health recovery and support.

What is it like to live with mental illness? What is recovery? What can an individual or their family do to find help? 


Link to video page




 News you can use

"Black Suicide: When Prayer is Not Enough" (Ebony Wellness & Empowerment, Aug. 20, 2013)

"How A Family Copes With Schizophrenia And Suicide" (NPR, July 24, 2013)

“African-Americans, Latinos receive less adequate mental health care than Whites” (News Medical, July 22, 2013)

“Black and Blue: Annelle Primm Talks Mental Health For ‘Get Well Wednesday”’ by Annelle Primm (, July 16, 2013)

"[ENOUGH] Mental Health Disparities Endanger Chicago’s Youth: Mental health advocate Dr. Carl C. Bell speaks out as the city closes half of its mental health care facilities" (by Rod McCullum, Ebony Wellness & Empowerment, April 1, 2013)

Behind Mental Health Stigmas In Black Communities (8/20/12) NPR Talk of the Nation

Why Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Has Remained Mum about His ‘Mood Disorder’ Allison Samuels, The Daily Beast (7/12/12)

Chicago Tribune 2/5/12 Time to shatter the black suicide myth

LA Times 2/7/12 Race and mental illness: Do African Americans suffer more schizophrenia or is it bias? 

BET Health 2/14/12 Commentary: An Explanation for Increased Black Schizophrenia

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Multicultural Newsroom Covers Health and Health Care Issues for African-American and Latino Communities 

Black Teens, Especially Girls, at High Risk for Suicide Attempts (NIMH Science Update, 4/10/09)

NPR News and Notes Series on African American Mental Health
March 2008 series on "mental illness, racial disparities in mental health care, and perceptions and issues surrounding the topic, with a focus on African Americans"

Additional Resources

Mental Health and African Americans resource page of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health

Information guide from the American Psyciatric Association APA Mental Health Guide for African Americans and Their Families
Guide comes with an accompanying DVD that features individuals of a variety of perspectives discussion of mental illness, ways mental illness can be treated and the kinds of healthcare providers who can help. View the video and find ordering information on the APA's website. Watch closely and you'll notice scenes filmed in the NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore office!

Why Should African American Churches Care about Mental Illness? 

NAMI's African American Outreach Resource Manual

Working with Congregations to Reach African American Families with Mental Illness

"How Health Reform Helps," focusing on African Americans, from Families USA's fact sheet series on health reform impacts on diverse communities.

Stories That Heal
A Web site featuring real-life stories and resources to promote awareness of mental health recovery and support among African Americans. This web resource is provided in the collaboration of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Ad Council and the Stay Strong Foundation, co-founded by Terrie Williams who also serves as spokesperson of this awareness campaign.

Building Bridges in Black Churches
(Featured in NAMI FaithNet) In the black community, mental illness is often stigmatized and undiagnosed. As Rose Hardy, an ordained minister in the Unity Fellowship Church, noticed, church members are comfortable standing up in services to talk about their afflictions, like HIV, and drug or alcohol addiction, but mental illness remains a hushed topic. Read about how Hardy discovered the Promoting Emotional Wellness and Spirituality (PEWS) program and utilized it to build bridges between black churches and mental health awareness programs.

  • Suicide Among African Americans
    A study featured as a NAMI top news story November 8, 2006 that could help explode the myth that black suicides are rare was released in November 2006 by the Univ. of Michigan. Read the abstract of the study or access the full article on the Journal of the American Medicine Association website.
  • Stress Among African American Adolescents Studied
    The Preventing Chronic Disorders Journal published the "Shifting the Lens" study in April 2006.  This study explores stress & coping among urban African American adolescents.
  • Proceedings from A Listening Forum with Black Psychiatrists
    This document includes excerpts and summarizes the issues and recommendations offered during a dialogue between NAMI and leading Black Psychiatrists based in the U.S. that was held on October 7, 2002.
  • Souls of Black Men
    The Black Mental Health Alliance for Education and Cosultation, Inc. invited a group of African American men to share their thoughts and experiences with regard to mental health.  This fact sheet represents their voices  - uncensored and unscripted. 

External Organization/ Agency Links

Related Files

Young couple sharing info