DOI: 10.5176/2315-4330_WNC14.60

Authors: Catherine Alicia Georges and Kermit G. Payne

Abstract: In 2000, the 16th Surgeon General of the United States of America, Dr. David Satcher, released Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General(DHHS,1999). Also released was Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity: A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. This report documented the mental health disparities for African Americans and the lack of access to quality mental health services for African Americans in the United States.
Mental Health illnesses continue to persist in African American communities in the United States. The percent of the African Americans/Blacks 18 years and over in the US with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness or that everything is an effort all the time is higher than for Whites according to the CDC(2010). Poverty levels may also affect mental status. People who are poor are more than 3 times likely to report psychological stress. It has been noted that African Americans are 20{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} more likely to experience psychological stress than White Americans. White Americans are twice more likely to receive antidepression treatments than African Americans (US Office of Minority Health, 2013). The National Black Nurses Foundation, a not for profit organization in the United States has as one of it pillars, decreasing chronic illness and its related risk factors in African American communities. Based on the commitment to this program of service, the National Black Nurses Foundation developed a national initiative to address the mental health disparities in African American communities.

Keywords: Stigma, Burden of disease, Lack of access to care, Mental Health disparities, Community based initiative, Replication, Impact policy

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