From slavery, to the atrocious Marion Sims, to the objectification of Sarah Baartman, to the Tuskegee experiments, and the current attack on the accessibility of health care—it is easy to understand why minorities and underrepresented communities are wary of doctors, therapy, and medication. Historically, these groups of people have no reason to trust medical professionals.
Depression in college students is real. Silence in the black community is real. If you are going through some things, It's ok to get help!
— Mary-Pat C. Hector (@MaryPatHector) July 14, 2017
Thus, not only does leading with distrust seem to be the most sensible action to take, many of the people in these communities stay far away from therapists and doctors because it is assumed that the family will have the answers one needs. In short, a shot of castor oil, a swig of Apple Cider Vinegar, and forgiveness will ease the pain. Telling the family’s business and taking what happens inside of the house, out of house, won’t. Even though, statistically, STDs and physical, peer-on-peer assault are higher among Black and Brown people and it’s clear home remedies and sage can’t be the only answer to healing.
Similarly, black and brown men as well as non-black and brown men are also known to stay far away from doctor’s offices and therapy. Social conditioning has taught men that on the spectrum of masculinity and femininity, talking about one’s feelings and ailments is the complete opposite of what a man’s man wants to portray about himself.
dont turn into a depressed black male
— RELZOH (@relzohs) August 9, 2017
However, what happens when these group of people go to college? How do they survive the cultural shock? Racism experienced at a predominately white institutions, homesickness, and the uncomfortable shift of finding out that parents and families don’t know it all?
Colleges and Universities know the transition into college takes a toll and so student health centers are in place, around the country, to cater, support, and provide efficient resources to all students. Many student health centers offer mind and body wellness, confidential STD testing, alcohol abuse prevention, dental services, counseling services for anxiety, victims of assault, grief and suicide, and more.
Yes, there’s a sordid history in the lives of minority families when it concerns medicine. The same is also true for men when they attempt to leave the fixed boxes patriarchy places them in when it concerns their mental and emotional well-being. Still, there comes a time where we must all prioritize self-care. Besides, there’s no better time to practice advocating for oneself than in college.
(Photo courtesy of Gordan Parks)
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