In Milwaukee County, black individuals had the highest suicide rate in 2022, according to data released by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office. This follows a national trend that experts with the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.
Factors Causing Black Suicide
There are three overwhelming reasons that blacks commit a higher rate of suicide.
About 10% of adult black males in Wisconsin do not have health insurance that covers mental health care. Even if a person has BadgerCare or Medicaid, they may have trouble finding a provider that will accept their coverage.
Especially with older black individuals, there is often a belief that having a mental health condition is a sign of weakness. Therefore, many put off getting help when it is available. Additionally, many rely on their house of faith or music to give them a mental boost. While both can be vital, seeking help is also necessary. A counselor can set up a plan to incorporate things essential to you into your program.
Quality of Care
Historically, black individuals have received poorer health care than white individuals. This has caused a stigma where many in the community do not want to seek help. Additionally, black people are more likely to describe physical symptoms when seeking care. Therefore, medical doctors often miss diagnosing mental health conditions.
Questions to ask a Mental Health Care Provider
We want to be part of your treatment team, but other options are available. Therefore, we encourage you to ask questions of your provider, includingː
• Have you treated other black people?
• Have you completed cultural training?
• How do you perceive my culture affecting my treatment?
Contact our mental health clinic if you are looking for a culturally aware psychiatrist. We want to be part of your team as you fight depression. Together, we can create a program so that you feel better and are better equipped to deal with the stresses that life gives you.