More Black Psychologists in New Jersey Could Encourage Black Residents To Seek Treatment, Experts Say
Mental health experts in New Jersey say an increase of black psychologists in the state could help physicians meet the increasing demand for mental health care services among black residents, the Bergen Record reports. According to the Record, some black patients prefer to receive and are more likely to complete mental health treatment from black providers. In New Jersey, the exact number of black psychologists in the state is unavailable. "The shortfall only exacerbates the problems facing blacks who suffer from mental health" illnesses, but "tend to be over-diagnosed with schizophrenia, [and] under-diagnosed with less severe mood disorders such as depression," the Record reports. Robert Adair, a black primary care physician in New Jersey, said, "For years, African-Americans were sort of let down in the area of mental illness." He added that for many blacks, "there's a lot of mythology and a lot of reticence and caution and suspicion of this whole idea of being 'crazy,'" so they do not seek treatment. Carolyn Rouse, an anthropologist at Princeton University's Center for African-American Studies, said nonblack mental health providers could treat patients of all ethnicities and religions successfully if they received cultural competency training (Feibel, Bergen Record, 2/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.