Poverty and depression

Screenshot 2017-04-27 07.09.09“Money can’t buy happiness” is a phrase that is often said by people who have financial stability. But for those living in poverty, a few extra dollars may be their ticket to happiness.

In the Black community it is often said that ‘Black people don’t get mental illnesses – that’s for white people,’ which stigmatizes mental illness in the Black population.

What do we have after these two remarks? Depressed Black people who do not know they need treatment.

According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4 percent of African Americans are likely to report mental illnesses, but only 7.6 percent seek treatment. With poverty increasing in predominantly minority areas, the correlation is significant. Almost 31 percent of people living in poverty are reported to have depression, as opposed to the 15.8 percent of people who do not live in poverty, according to a report in The Atlantic.

Screenshot 2017-04-27 07.13.56How is one supposed to battle both mentally illness and being poor? If being poor only exacerbates mental illness, then it is vitally important to get people out of poverty. One solution would be to make sure that people are able to receive health insurance, but according to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), over 20 percent of Black people are uninsured.

Affordable healthcare, available resources and an effort to lower the poverty rate in the United States could be the solution to strengthening Black communities and allowing those who are living with these illnesses, that are only being proliferated through their living situation, to become healthy again and to enjoy the quality of life they deserve.

By Kayra Clouden

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