Monday, February 1, 2021

TN Voices Honors Black Mental Health Leaders for Black History Month

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 5:02 PM

TN Voices, a mental health support services nonprofit, is working to increase access to mental health for Black Tennesseans by honoring Black mental health leaders on social media during Black History Month.


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care.

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During the month of February, TN Voices is working to educate Tennesseans about the importance of improving access to mental health care and treatment. They seek to help dispel negative perceptions about mental illness.


According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Mental Health:



● Black Americans living below the poverty level, as compared to those over twice the poverty level, are twice as likely to report psychological distress.

● Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Black Americans ages 15-24.

● The death rate from suicide for Black men is more than four times greater than Black women.

● Black females, grades 9-12, are 70 percent more likely to attempt suicide, as compared to non-Hispanic white females of the same age.


“There’s a great stigma not only in mental health but especially the Black community,” says TN Voices chief operating officer Will Voss. “We don’t seek treatment or we don’t think these things are affecting us in a negative way, but they are, so we have to be aware of the signs and symptoms that we’re seeing and that we’re feeling.”


“By seeing the contributions that Black people have made to the mental health community, it gently chips away at the stigma associated with mental illness and seeking help in our own community,” says TN Voices chief development officer Michelle Thomas. “We are working to normalize mental illness in the Black community and beyond."


Tennesseans who are unemployed or without insurance and in need of mental health services can call the TN Voices Hope Fund hotline for help at 615-269-7751.

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