Poor Black Men Have Poorer Mental Health

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

Loosely put, that is what researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California say their findings reveal. They used data from 1,271 black men who participated in the the following study — National Survey of American Life: Coping with Stress in the 21st Century. This study investigated depressive symptoms, serious psychological distress, and major depressive disorders in black men.

According to University of Michigan reports, the “researchers interpret the[ier] findings [to] suggest life circumstances are meaningful for the mental health of black men.” Specifically, they discovered that having less education, being unemployed, and poverty are risk factors for poorer mental health.

Yes, the latter factors could apply to anyone. Whenever studies are conducted, however, these traits disproportionately  represent blacks. The black community should not despair, though, because it is within our power to change that. It will not happen over night, but it starts with putting more emphasis on education. The rest — getting a job, escaping poverty, and minimizing mental stress — will fall in line.

Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer degreed in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.

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