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Depression and African Americans

African Americans in the United States are less likely to receive accurate diagnoses than their Caucasian counterparts. Culture biases against mental health professionals and health care professionals in general prevent many African American from access care due to prior experiences with historical misdiagnoses, inadequate treatment and a lack of cultural understanding.

Download the African American Community Mental Health Fact Sheet as a PDF.

Download the African American Women and Depression Fact Sheet as a PDF


  • NPR News and Notes Series on African American Mental Health
    NPR News and Notes 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"
  • 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.
  • 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 United States that was held on Oct. 7, 2002.
  • Souls of Black Men (pdf)
    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.
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