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African Americans and Mental Health

Renee speaks with Sycarah Fisher, associate professor in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky, and Shambra Mulder, an assistant professor in the School of Education at Kentucky State University.
Season 9 Episode 39 Length 28:01 Premiere: 07/10/14

Minority Mental Health Issues Can be Complicated

While some African Americans are reluctant to seek medical care in general, they often face additional and unique challenges when dealing with mental health concerns.

KET’s Renee Shaw talked with two counselors about some of these problems on this weekend’s Connections. Their discussion coincides with National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

Personal and Professional Factors
Why do some minorities tend to stigmatize mental health issues? Sycarah Fisher, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Education, says African-American communities have a complicated history with medical professionals and that some individuals perceive seeking help as a sign of weakness.

Life counselor and Kentucky State University assistant professor Shambra Mulder agrees, saying that spiritual beliefs also play a role in health-related decisions. The thinking is, “If you’re seen as someone who needs outside help and can’t just pray about it or can’t just read the scriptures and get past [the problem], then you must not be faithful,” Mulder explains.

A lack of minorities in the profession also adds to reluctance in seeking mental health care, Fisher and Mulder say. Some patients simply may not be comfortable sharing their concerns with a white doctor or counselor. Fisher says that while there are scholarship programs for minorities studying for advanced degrees in psychology or counseling, gaining admission to and completing degree programs still remains difficult for some students of color.

Diagnosis Issues
Even if an individual seeks care for a mental issue, receiving a correct diagnosis may be another challenge. Fisher says many measures used to identify behavior disorders don’t take into account cultural differences found in African American or other minority communities. That can result in misdiagnosis, Fisher contends.

Patients who may not want to admit to symptoms of a mental illness further complicates the diagnostic process. Mulder says that if the patient doesn’t want to hear a specific diagnosis of schizophrenia or depression, for example, then he or she may not tell a doctor about certain symptoms they’re experiencing. If the patient is a child, they may not even have the language skills to articulate what they’re feeling.

Mental Health Care for Children
While the government is placing a higher importance on mental health services for children, creating a network of care for a young patient is complicated. At home, parents or family members may not recognize when a child’s behavior is abnormal. Then in school, Mulder and Fisher say teachers and school counselors can only address issues that pertain to a child’s classroom performance, yet the child may have deeper traumas that should be addressed by a mental health professional. Finally community caseworkers are also vital in providing a continuum of care, but Fisher says they are likely over-worked and trying to juggle services for hundreds of children.

Fisher also contends it’s important for parents and teachers to focus not just on disruptive kids, but to also notice those children who may be especially quiet or withdrawn.

“You can see a lot of mental health issues apparent in very, very young children, and so you really need to be sure that you intervene early with those children,” Fisher explains. “The longer you wait, the more severe the problem behaviors are going to get, and you’re going to have more dire outcomes.”

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Season 9 Episodes

Innocence Project

S9 E47 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 10/31/13

Step by Step

S9 E46 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 09/01/14

Frontier Nursing University

S9 E45 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 08/23/14

SWAG

S9 E44 Length 26:31 Premiere Date 08/14/14

Marta Miranda

S9 E43 Length 27:46 Premiere Date 08/07/14

Judi Jennings

S9 E42 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 07/31/14

Dr. Robert Hilgers

S9 E41 Length 27:26 Premiere Date 07/24/14

Wil James

S9 E40 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 07/19/14

African Americans and Mental Health

S9 E39 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 07/10/14

Dr. Charisse Gillett

S9 E38 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 07/05/14

Dr. Timothy M. Houchin

S9 E37 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 06/27/14

Mental Health Courts

S9 E36 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 06/19/14

Rape Culture

S9 E35 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 06/12/14

Colene Elridge

S9 E34 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 06/07/14

Ted Strader - COPES

S9 E33 Length 28:32 Premiere Date 05/31/14

Prison Reform In Kentucky

S9 E32 Length 29:01 Premiere Date 05/24/14

Hasan Davis

S9 E31 Length 28:41 Premiere Date 05/17/14

Djuan Trent

S9 E30 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 05/10/14

Life Coach Dr. Janet Taylor

S9 E29 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 05/03/14

Greenhouse17

S9 E28 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/26/14

MaryLee Underwoood and Chastity Ross

S9 E27 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 04/19/14

Aaron Thompson

S9 E26 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/12/14

50th Anniversary of the March On Frankfort

S9 E22 Length 26:06 Premiere Date 02/23/14

Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker

S9 E21 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 02/16/14

Dr. Vershawn A. Young

S9 E20 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 02/07/14

Sabrina Butler and Kate Miller

S9 E19 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/31/14

Dr. Stephanie Mayfield Gibson

S9 E18 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/26/14

J. Michael Brown

S9 E17 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/17/14

Health Benefits Exchange

S9 E16 Length 27:59 Premiere Date 01/10/14

Ky. Senate President Pro-Tem Katie Stine

S9 E15 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 01/03/14

History Maker; Tuskegee Airmen History

S9 E14 Length 28:30 Premiere Date 12/26/13

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S9 E12 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 11/22/13

Human Trafficking

S9 E11 Length 26:31 Premiere Date 11/15/13

Diabetes Prevention and Control

S9 E10 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 11/08/13

Pop Culture and Commodification of Women

S9 E8 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 10/24/13

Poet Kiki Petrosino

S9 E7 Length 27:26 Premiere Date 10/17/13

Girl Power

S9 E6 Length 28:17 Premiere Date 10/10/13

Ruth Brinkley, KentuckyOne Health president

S9 E5 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 10/03/13

Malcolm Ratchford, Community Action Council director

S9 E4 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 09/26/13

Roszalyn Akins, dean of the Carter G. Woodson Academy

S9 E3 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 09/19/13

Ronald Chi, founder of The Learning Center

S9 E2 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 09/12/13

Betty Baye

S9 E1 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 09/05/13

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Premiered On: 02/05/2016

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Premiered On: 04/08/2016

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Premiered On: 04/15/2016

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Crystal Wilkinson

Premiered On: 04/22/2016

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  • Monday September 26, 2022 4:29 am CT on KETKY

David Adkins - The Council of State Governments - S18 E3

  • Saturday October 1, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday October 1, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 11:59 am ET on KET
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 10:59 am CT on KET

Kevin Chapman - S10 E28

  • Friday September 23, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kendell Nash - ECHO - S10 E27

  • Thursday September 22, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 22, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 22, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 22, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dorothy Edwards and Diane Fleet - S10 E26

  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Elaine Chao - S10 E23

  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 2:06 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 1:06 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Diabetes Epidemic - S10 E20

  • Monday September 19, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Melynda Jamison - CASA of Lexington - S18 E2

  • Sunday September 25, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 24, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 24, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees - S10 E16

  • Friday September 16, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

15K Degrees Initiative - S10 E13

  • Thursday September 15, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 15, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 15, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 15, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Sister Helen Prejean - S10 E12

  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Jefferson County Veterans Treatment Court - S10 E11

  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Bill Farmer - S10 E8

  • Monday September 12, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

State Treasurer Allison Ball - S18 E1

  • Sunday September 11, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Reporter Jonathan Bullington - S17 E23

  • Sunday September 18, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 17, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 17, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

Diane Follingstad - UK Women's Circle Endowment Chair - S10 E6

  • Friday September 9, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kevin Chapman - S10 E5

  • Thursday September 8, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Soreyda Benedit Begley and Chris Begley - S10 E3

  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Bloggers on Personal Development - S10 E2

  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Chris Rabb - S10 E1

  • Monday September 5, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Nikki Lanier - Harper Slade - S17 E22

  • Sunday September 11, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 10, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 10, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Delanor Manson - Kentucky Nurses Association - S17 E36

  • Sunday September 4, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY

Tanya Torp and Holly Houston - S9 E46

  • Friday September 2, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Frontier Nursing University - S9 E45

  • Thursday September 1, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 1, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 1, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 1, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
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