Mental health awareness is a critical need within the Black community and Carnegie Mellon University student, Kai Roberts, is shining a light on the topic. After battling with Anxiety, Roberts took a semester off from school to seek treatment as well as work on his music - which served as another form of therapy.
Last year Kai released the album, Carnegie Cafe, to the student body at Carnegie and within the city of Pittsburgh. Carnegie Cafe was well received, so Kai has launched a Kickstarter to create a visual album.
Kai's efforts are timely for our community. Check out these alarming facts from the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
- Culture biases against mental health professionals and health care professionals in general prevent many African Americans from accessing care due to prior experiences with historical misdiagnoses, inadequate treatment and a lack of cultural under standing; only 2 percent of psychiatrists, 2 percent of psychologists and 4 percent of social workers in the United States areAfrican American.
- African Americans tend to rely on family, religious and social communities for emotional support rather than turning to health care professionals, even though this may at times be necessary. The health care providers they seek may not be aware of this important aspect of person life.
- Mental illness is frequently stigmatized and misunderstood in the African American community. African Americans are much more likely to seek help though their primary care doctors as opposed to accessing specialty care.