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We Need More Black Mental Health Professionals

Updated: May 24

When discussing mental health disparities in the Black Community, my thoughts immediately turn to the pervasive impact of racism within medicine and psychiatry. It's crucial to recognize that it's racism, not race itself, that drives the poor health outcomes seen in Black communities.

A significant issue we face is the limited access to Black mental health clinicians. Despite comprising 13% of the U.S. population, Black professionals are underrepresented in mental health fields:

  • 2% of psychiatrists are Black

  • 4% of psychologists are Black

  • 7% of marriage and family therapists are Black

  • 11% of licensed professional counselors are Black

  • 22% of clinical social workers are Black

  • 10% of all registered nurses are Black*

*This statistic represents all registered Black nurses instead of Black nurses in psychiatry.

This underrepresentation makes it extremely difficult for Black patients to find practitioners who understand their unique experiences and cultural backgrounds.

Black Clinicians on a Panel at Angel's Den Inaugural Conference at C.E. McGruder, May 2024

What's the solution? We need to create a Black Mental Health Professional Pipeline and support the current professionals in the Field!

Dr. Raquel Martin, Keynote Speaker at the Black Mental Health Village: Mental Health and Health Justice Conference, at Avon Williams TSU

We need more Black People in Mental Health! — Maybe you? [Send this blog to someone you know. ]

Learn about Psychiatry

Learn about Psychology 

Learn about Counseling 

Learn about Social Work 

Learn about Nursing 

HBCU Cares: The mission of HBCU C.A.R.E.S. is to raise awareness of and offer access to behavioral health fields for diverse students.

Find a Graduate Program - Already in A Graduate Program? — Apply for the Behavioral Health Ambassador Program 

Recruiting more Black mental health professionals is a crucial first step, but it is merely the beginning of a larger journey. We must actively nurture and support these invaluable caregivers as they navigate the complexities of providing culturally responsive care to our community.

Black Mental Health Professional Organizations: Check out the links for professional organizations working to support us in the different mental health fields. 

Black Mental Health Professional Resources in Tennessee

Become a Member of Black Mental Health Village! We offer free and paid membership. 

General Member Meeting —  First Monday of the month at 11 AM & 6 PM (for those who work during the day) 

Therapist and Clinicians Member Meeting —  4th Sunday 2 PM 

Join our TN Black Therapist/Clinician Directory: BMHV Therapist Directory

If you’re not listed, use this form to add to the directory: Form Link 

Other Local Resources For Black / BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Professionals

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