Mental health issues are prevalent among college students. Mental health is not heavily discussed with African American women because it has become a taboo subject due to the lack of knowledge of treatment. According to the Huffington Post, African-American women have the highest rates of depression and have low rates of treatment. Mental health is a topic that often makes Black women feel ashamed, but this should not be the case and is another reason why it should be talked about.
According to the Guardian, “Little is known about black women and mental health as these individuals have been largely absent from research,” says
“Little is known about black women and mental health as these individuals have been largely absent from research,”Josefine Breedvelt, Research Manager at the Mental Health Foundation.
This partially explains why there are so few discussions about mental with Black women. I think it is important for Black college women to start these conversations within their student organizations, sororities, or even religious groups. If these women build a safe space for these mental health conversations, then others will feel more comfortable, encouraging women to seek professional help if needed.
Black women also do not seek help due to lack of health insurance. The main reason college students do not want to see counselors is because they do not have the money to pay for them. Students should look into their university health center because most of these services are offered for free or at a discounted price. It is a huge benefit to use the services that your university provides because they can help you manage your stress levels and keep you mentally stable.
As a college student myself, life can become very stressful with classes, organizations, work, and internships. It is important to really manage your mental health and take time for yourself, which is something people often forget to do. It is important to find coping mechanisms that fit your personality and do something you enjoy. Some ways I destress and manage my mental health include getting active and going to the gym. For me, working out helps me release steam and endorphins. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “studies show that exercise is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function.” Even going for a run or getting to the gym for twenty minutes a day can help improve your overall mental health.
The life of a college student and a woman in general, can become very hectic, but it is important to keep your mental health first and do the things you enjoy!