High Point, NC’s Therapists—Mental Health Care for the African American Community
If you are struggling, seeking out mental health care may be the right choice for you; however, making the right choice is not the same as making an easy choice. For some African Americans, unfortunately, finding quality mental health care is harder than it should be. A 2010 study found that African Americans go to therapy at half the rate that Caucasians do, despite similar rates of mental illness. Psychiatrist, Dr. William Lawson reflected upon the disparity in an NPR interview. He named two key barriers that keep African Americans from receiving mental health care: access and quality. Dr. Lawson explained, “Dr. Satcher in his surgeon general’s report noted that there was less accessibility of mental health services for people of color for a variety of reasons. Part of it is that many of the systems simply aren’t located proximity to where people of color are.” Dr. Lawson also told a story about how, in medical school, he was taught that African Americans cannot develop depression. “Part of it is that many professionals simply don’t know how to diagnose properly African-Americans,” Dr. Lawson reflected. Many people are working to remedy these inequalities and ensure that African Americans have access to quality mental health care.
Jinneh’s experiences are an example of how things are changing. When she was in high school and struggling with depression, Jinneh was prescribed an antidepressant by her therapist. However, Jinneh never filled it. Her friends and family members were skeptical that the therapist had Jinneh’s best interest at heart. In college, Jinneh was still depressed when a friend recommended she try therapy again. Jinneh was still skeptical, but she found a therapist she trusted. With treatment, her depression lifted. Jinneh’s story is part of a larger trend, according to an article published in The Washington Post entitled, “Therapists say African Americans are increasingly seeking help for mental illness.” Jinneh is now educating others about mental health care and working to ensure African Americans have access to therapy.
Thriveworks High Point offers therapy that is personal and holistic. We understand that African Americans face unique barriers as they receive mental health care, and we work hard to remove as many of those barriers as possible.
A Supportive, Unified Community of Care
Faith, friends, and family are the bedrocks of many African American communities, and each plays an important role in mental health. Therapists have not always worked well with a client’s community support, and as in Jinneh’s case, therapists can set themselves against other forms of support. The mental health professionals at Thriveworks High Point seek to take a different approach. Instead of working against community support, our therapists understand that we are all on the same team and working toward the same goal. We respect the roles that faith leaders, family members, and friends can play in a client’s life.
Supporting holistic mental health is like putting a puzzle together where each piece is important and each piece contributes to the whole. Faith leaders can provide care that family members cannot. Friends can offer care that therapists cannot. Family members give support that friends cannot. Therapists play a role that faith leaders cannot. Each is different, but each matters. Mental health care is not a replacement for community support, but a different and vital form of support.
Building Trust in Therapy
When a client and therapist work together, it is vital that they trust one another. People need a safe place where they can be true to who they are, and for many people, that safe place is therapy. However, safety cannot be established without trust. Clients need to know that they can share their hopes, dreams, hardships, opportunities, challenges, traumas, experiences, and more without fear of being judged. Because people are whole beings and their whole lives are important, clients also need to know that if they share about their race, culture, or ethnicity that they will be received and understood. The therapists at Thriveworks High Point understand the important part that cultural context plays in an individual’s well-being. We believe in building trust with our clients through empathy and informed care.
As trust grows between a client and a therapist, clients are often able to share more and more of their lives. More emotional and psychological wounds may be revealed. More emotional and psychological healing may be experienced. There is no limit to the topics that can be explored in therapy, but here are a few possibilities…
- Racial trauma
- Career advancement
- Grief counseling
- Sexual identity issues
- Substance use
- Executive coaching
- Child therapy
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Anger management
- Suspected abuse of a child
- Eating disorders
- Psychiatric testing
- Obsessive-compulsive tendencies
- Job loss
- Couples and marriage counseling
Scheduling Counseling at Thriveworks High Point
If you are considering counseling, know that Thriveworks High Point is ready for you. We know that life is a challenge. Reaching out for therapy should not be. Here is what we have done to make the process of scheduling counseling as easy as possible. When you contact our office, a person will answer your call and help you make an appointment. You will not reach a voicemail or an automated response system, but you may be meeting with your therapist within 24 hours. We accept many different forms of insurance, and we offer evening and weekend sessions. Let’s work together. Call Thriveworks High Point.