Mental illness in the African-American community
African-Americans' access to mental health care can be affected by lack of financial resources, and their approach to such care is influenced by deep historical underpinnings, including stigma, suspicion of medical professionals and reliance on religion, experts say.
Annmarie Desravines, 41, of Central Islip was diagnosed with lupus in 2006. “I got to the point of where I would go to work, come home and get in my bed. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to drink. I didn’t want to do anything,” said Desravines. “I knew I was depressed.” (Dec. 18, 2012)
Bassey Ikpi, 36, of Lanham, Md., is a writer and founder of The Siwe Project, which is a global nonprofit organization based in the Washington D.C. area dedicated to promoting mental health awareness throughout the international black community. (Dec. 12, 2012)
Mike Veny, 33, of Astoria plays his drum in his childhood home in Hempstead. A professional drummer and mental health speaker, he has been diagnosed with anger issues, OCD, depression and anxiety. (Dec. 19, 2012)
Hakeem Rahim, 31, of Hempstead was diagnosed with bipolar disorder while a psychology student at Harvard University. (Dec. 11, 2012)