Culture, Depression, and Coping Mechanisms among African Americans

Elizabeth Armstrong-Mensah, Rebekah Bills, Lizbeth Reyes


Culture is a dynamic force that significantly affects health. It comprises beliefs, norms and values, and determines how populations view certain things. In the area of mental health, it determines whether one will seek help or not, the type of help they will seek, the type of support system they will have, and how they will cope with mental illness. There are six racial groups in the United States, each with its unique sub-culture. Belonging to the African American racial group, African Americans have their perceptions about mental illness, stigma, treatment and care, as well as preferred coping mechanisms. This paper discusses the effects culture has on depression among African Americans. It also examines the coping mechanisms this population employs to deal with depression, and proposes strategies for addressing their mental health issues.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Elizabeth Armstrong-Mensah, Rebekah Bills, Lizbeth Reyes

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