This hour, we have a conversation about mental health in the African American community, with a focus on the psychic cost of racism. According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. Reasons for that disparity include racism, socioeconomic factors, and higher levels of homelessness and exposure to violence.
The strategy of coping with prolonged psychosocial stress caused by discrimination has a name. It's called "John Henryism." We discuss that this hour, along with a new book highlighting the people who worked to make psychiatry more available to Harlem's black community in the early Civil Rights era. Our guests:
- Dennis Doyle, associate professor of history at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and author of Psychiatry and Racial Liberalism in Harlem, 1936-1968
- Melanie Funchess, director of community engagement for the Mental Health Association of Rochester