Mental health remains largely absent from public debate across the Black community. This is despite data that show Blacks "are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Whites" and mental health care disparities are even more pronounced among Black and Latino children.
Our latest for EBONY: "Mental Health Disparities Endanger Chicago’s Black Youth."
There has been a national outcry for increased access to mental health treatment in the wake of the Aurora and Newtown shootings. But in Chicago—whose gun-violence murder rate last year was the equivalent of "a Newtown [massacre] every four months"—has seen a steady decrease in funding to mental health programs.
“From 2009 to 2012, state leaders cut roughly $187 million from state-sponsored programs,” according to a report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. That’s just over thirty percent of its mental health budget. Today, Illinois “has the dubious distinction” of ranking third in the nation when it comes to states with the highest dollar amounts cut from mental health programs. Further, six of Chicago's twelve mental health care facilities have been closed down by the state, including facilities in the heart of the city's Black community on the South Side.
Read the full report HERE.