Why I Specialize in Treating African-Americans...

Because African-Americans are at greater risk for mental illness and sometimes experience more severe forms of mental health conditions due to unmet needs and other barriers. According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African-Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population.

Because African-Americans are more likely to experience certain factors that increase the risk for developing a mental health condition. African-Americans of all ages are more likely to be victims of serious violent crime making them more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). African-Americans are over-represented in our jails and prisons. African-Americans account for 37 percent of drug arrests, but only 14 percent of regular drug users (illicit drug use is frequently associated with self-medication among people with mental illnesses).

Because historically, African-Americans in the United States have experienced unique and considerable challenges in accessing mental health services and are less likely to receive accurate mental health diagnoses.

Because of the lack of cultural understanding and culturally relevant mental health services available to African-Americans. Only 2 percent of psychiatrists, 2 percent of psychologists and 4 percent of social workers in the United States are African-American.

Because despite progress made over the years, racism and discrimination continue to have a negative impact on the mental health of African-Americans.