In recent years, more focus has been placed on mental health stigma as it relates to blacks dealing with mental health issues. While efforts are being made to raise awareness about what has held blacks back from addressing personal issues about mental health, the topic is still a problem in the black community.

Blacks still ignore the fact that depression is a problem in our community. It seems like the interest to fix it isn’t ongoing or there is a peak in the interest that falls flat soon after.

Many of color are open to discussing mental health issues among blacks. Few are open to seeking help for themselves or someone they know. But we can’t keep blaming the stigma behind mental health issues, or things won’t change. We can keep talking about the stigma, but it needs to turn into action.

What more can be done to raise awareness and encourage efforts among blacks to talk about and take action when dealing with mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety? How should we encourage others of color who are suffering in silence to work with others on getting help or seeking a solution?

There are so many things we can do that it doesn’t make sense for the problem to exist.

Parents: Do you sense your child or teenager is dealing with depression? Do you talk to them about it or encourage them to open up and discuss their feelings with you?

Do you have a loved one who is suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mental health concern and don’t know how to help them?

Are you suffering yourself and feel you have limited options?

If you think you have a mental health concern but have yet to seek help: Why?

Mental health is significant to how you live and influence others. Finding someone you will be comfortable talking to is a productive first step. It can be a family member, co-worker, or your doctor. It is common to find it difficult to open up and communicate with others about your personal feelings, but you can gain useful benefits people overlook when choosing to take steps to improve their mental health. Here are a few things to get an idea of what you can gain:

* Stress reduction.
* Gain a new perspective on how to handle situations.
* Makes it easier to explore help and support options you may stick with.
* Learn healthy ways to cope with your feelings and emotions.
* Understand the significance of good communication and how to do so effectively with others about what you’re experiencing.
* Prevent symptoms from getting worse.

Improving the outlook of your life depends on taking productive action toward a solution. Focus on what you can gain when choosing to get help instead of allowing personal fears or thoughts of others keep you from trying.

Author's Bio: 

Tanisha Herrin is a writer and author with unique interests in mental health and self-improvement. After publishing the book, Fighting the Blues as a Black Woman: How I Survived Suicidal Depression (Lulu Press, 2010), Tanisha wanted to help others dealing with depression through her personal experiences with useful knowledge and advice. She has produced numerous detailed articles on mental health topics through various projects including her blog. To learn more visit: