Black History Month: An Analysis of Healthcare

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Black History Month: An Analysis of Healthcare

By Madison Brooks, Manager of Mental Health Services at CORRAL, MSW, LCWSA.

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” —Martin Luther King, 1966 

American healthcare has a history of over 400 years and yet, there has never been a time without racial disparities. African-American racial, medical, and mental health disparities are a consequence that stems directly from slavery. White physicians assumed that African-American bodies were scientifically physically and mentally stronger and oftentimes used for research without consent (Hammonds & Reverby, 2019). Considering all the historical context and lived experiences, it can be extremely hard for African-Americans to entrust health professionals. There is substantial generational trauma regarding medical and mental health treatment in the African-American community, and tremendous efforts are needed to repair this relationship to healthcare in America.

Although the Affordable Care Act is in place to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all groups, African Americans remain at an increased risk of being uninsured, which continues to contribute to the overall barrier of accessing healthcare (Ndugga & Artiga, 2021). For example, minorities, particularly African-Americans, are not provided adequate mental healthcare in schools. They are less likely to be recognized as needing mental healthcare; therefore less likely to be referred to mental health services than white children (Alegria & Green, 2015). African-Americans are 20% more likely to experience mental health disorders; provider bias and the negative stigmas around mental health in the African-American community are also major contributing factors concerning mental health disparities (Mental Health America). 16% (7 million) of the African-American population in America, which is 13% of the entire population, reported experiencing a mental illness last year (Mental Health America).

Here at CORRAL, each member of our team values diversity, equity and inclusion both with our staff and program participants. Of our outstanding group of young girls who we have the opportunity to intentionally help grow and flourish, 45% identify as African-American. We are committed to being an organization that is on the side of health disparities eradication, which is why here at CORRAL all of our services are at no cost to participants or their families. As an African-American Equestrian and a Mental Health Professional, I have both witnessed and experienced the impact of having healthy communication and relationship skills with a horse parallel human relationships. There is an entire community and support system of African-American equestrians in North Carolina and across the country building lifelong bonds and skills one horse at a time.

By supporting our program, you can help provide mental health services that have the potential to break cycles of intergenerational trauma. Make a donation toward our life-saving and life-changing program today.

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The CORRAL Riding Academy is a non-profit group operating out of Cary, North Carolina dedicated to bettering the lives of troubled teens and rescued horses.

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