For Black Men, Barriers To Mental Health Care Can Be Complex : Consider This from NPR The start of a new year can push us to think about how we take care of ourselves – our bodies or our minds. And for some people that can mean seeking help for mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

In some ways, being open about pursuing treatment for mental health concerns is becoming more commonplace. But for men who are socialized not to express vulnerability and keep emotions in check, seeking therapy may feel taboo.

Black men must also contend with the long history of neglect and abuse that has influenced how generations of African-Americans feel about health services, a lack of Black mental health professionals, and the understanding that shielding emotions are a way to face the pressures and dangers of racism.

Host Michel Martins talks with writer Damon Young, author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays, and psychologist Earl Turner of Pepperdine University, on making therapy more accessible for Black men.

For Black Men, Barriers To Mental Health Care Can Be Complex

For Black Men, Barriers To Mental Health Care Can Be Complex

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Actor and comedian Jerrod Carmichael shown here in London, June, 2017. His 2022 HBO comedy special Rothaniel often felt like a therapy session as he discussed his relationships with his family and came out as gay. (NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images) NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images

Actor and comedian Jerrod Carmichael shown here in London, June, 2017. His 2022 HBO comedy special Rothaniel often felt like a therapy session as he discussed his relationships with his family and came out as gay. (NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images

The start of a new year can push us to think about how we take care of ourselves – our bodies or our minds. And for some people that can mean seeking help for mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

In some ways, being open about pursuing treatment for mental health concerns is becoming more commonplace. But seeking therapy may feel taboo for men who are socialized not to express vulnerability and keep emotions in check.

Black men must also contend with the long history of neglect and abuse that has influenced how generations of African-Americans feel about health services, a lack of Black mental health professionals, and the understanding that shielding emotions are a way to face the pressures and dangers of racism.

Host Michel Martins talks with writer Damon Young, author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays, and psychologist Earl Turner of Pepperdine University, on making therapy more accessible for Black men.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Marc Rivers. It was edited by Jeanette Woods. Our executive producer is Natalie Winston.