A Brief On Black Mental Health Issues

While the nation celebrates Black History Month, it is important to reflect on some of the issues that have disproportionately affected people of color in America.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI) reports that African Americans are 20% more likely to be living with serious mental illness but less likely to receive treatment for their illnesses compared to whites. This disparity extends beyond mental illness–African Americans are less likely than white Americans to be insured, which contributes to this inability to access care. There are also higher rates of chronic health problems experienced by African Americans compared with non-Hispanic whites, including high blood pressure and diabetes. Additionally, they are four times more likely than white adults to report having had a heart attack, twice as likely as white adults to have had a stroke, and are 50% more likely than white adults to be obese.

Health conditions that affect Black Mental Health disproportionately can be traced back to socioeconomic inequalities. Many of these disparities begin early in life when low-income children are more likely to have inadequate access to health care services, making it difficult for health issues to be detected or treated when they first arise. This contributes not only to the physical well-being of African Americans but also their mental wellness since growing evidence suggests that childhood adversity can alter brain development and increase the risk for mental illness later in life. Unfortunately, children who experience chronic trauma such as violence or sexual abuse are at an increased risk for developing major depressive disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as adults.

Beyond the consequences of experiencing trauma, there is ongoing discrimination and racism that causes African Americans to experience stress and anxiety. The ongoing racial discrimination faced by people of color may also contribute to poor Black Mental Health among African American adults. Often, this discrimination is subtle and not recognized or acknowledged; however, it can be extremely detrimental if left unaddressed. In fact, one study found that recent experiences with everyday discrimination were associated with a higher prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and alcohol dependence. Results from another study indicated that perceived discrimination mediated the association between race/ethnicity and PTSD symptoms for Black Americans. These findings suggest that exposure to discrimination and racism may contribute to the prevalence of mental health issues among African American adults.

The unique stressors that young Black boys and men face can also affect their mental health. African American males between the ages of 15 and 19 are nine times more likely than white males in the same age group to be victims of homicide, which is one of the leading causes of death for this demographic. Even when they survive, Black males experience higher rates of PTSD compared with other racial groups. Early negative experiences such as abuse or neglect increase a child’s risk for developing cognitive and emotional problems that persist into adulthood.

Employee Wellbeing Program Benefits

An employee wellbeing program offers many benefits yet is often overlooked by companies large and small. In a world where stress and burnout are rising at an alarming rate, the benefits of employee wellness programs are becoming more widely recognized. Companies need to realize the advantages of employee wellness programs as they become more prevalent in today’s marketplace. The following article will discuss the benefits of employee wellbeing programs in more detail.

The first benefit of employee wellbeing is the impact they have on morale and employee productivity. Studies show that well-trained professionals positively impact employee engagement and productivity. More importantly, a trained healthcare professional who can offer support to co-workers is vital to overall employee wellbeing. When employees feel empowered and respected, they are more likely to be engaged and productive.

The second benefit of employee wellbeing programs is their impact on employee retention and motivation. Employees that participate in wellness programs are more likely to stay with their company for the long term. The majority of studies show that employee engagement and productivity increase in tandem with the number of hours that workers spend engaged in physical activity each day. Studies also indicate that employee retention and motivation grow as soon as physical fitness and wellness programs are introduced.

The third benefit of employee wellbeing programs is their potential to strengthen relationships. One of the biggest areas in the workplace where there has been an increased focus over the past decade is relationships within the workplace. Workplace relationships tend to impact various employee outcomes, including productivity, engagement, satisfaction, and mental health. Health and wellness initiatives have been shown to strengthen relationships between co-workers as well as management. They are also commonly associated with boosting morale and increasing employee engagement.

The fourth benefit of implementing a program focused on employee wellbeing is their ability to reduce stress. Studies have shown that physical activity releases natural chemicals in the brain called endorphins. These chemicals have been associated with decreasing stress, improving mood, and decreasing overall body pain. Therefore, stress management and stress reduction programs can help reduce the negative impact of prolonged stress and increase employee wellbeing.

Employers that offer employee wellness programs have seen a notable decrease in absenteeism and sick leave due to stress and burnout. A well-rounded wellness program encourages a more positive work atmosphere and increases productivity. Surveys show that well-rounded programs lead to increased happiness levels, higher morale and job satisfaction, and more satisfied employees. Additionally, studies show that the cost of healthcare-associated with employee health problems is significantly lower when compared to the cost associated with sick leave. The positive effects of wellness programs are evident in both employee satisfaction and the overall working environment.

Understanding Medical Resident Burnout

Medical Resident Burnout oftentimes occurs when medical students have spent several years in training so that they can learn and practice medicine. The responsibilities that come with this training can become overwhelming at times, especially when managed incorrectly.

Understanding What Burnout Is

Unfortunately, when burnout isn’t addressed it can result in depression and suicide. This is why it’s so important to recognize its signs. One of the most common symptoms is fatigue. It’s important to catch this early so that it doesn’t result in critical mistakes being made while on the job.

Another important symptom is the lack of emotional connections. When this happens students will frequently struggle to show sympathy or empathy for their patients.

When these signs start to pop up some students are tempted to self-medicate. While having a glass of wine isn’t always a bad thing, drinking too much alcohol or abusing other substances means that you really need some help. Left untreated this can easily result in other detrimental consequences such as overdose or death. This is why you need to seek help immediately.

Remedying Burnout

There are several ways in which you can confront burnout. One of the main ways is through mindfulness training. This is a great way to learn some healthy coping skills. These skills may include social support, mentoring, or engaging in mental health wellness programs. At the same time, you should also practice good eating habits, make sure you get enough sleep, implement an exercise routine, and make sure you have time set aside for relaxation.

As you work on your own self you should also take steps to reduce the amount of stress you’re under while you’re at work. While stress is a consistent factor in a residency or fellowship program there are things you can do to reduce it. One thing you can do to help yourself here is delegate duties to others (e.g. repetitive administration tasks).

It’s also important that you surround yourself with the right people – those who encourage you to invest in yourself in these ways and who are willing to help hold you accountable.

The Bottom Line

It’s important to recognize the signs of Medical Resident Burnout so that you can address the issue. Having some strategies ready to implement before you reach this point is a good idea. By knowing how you feel and dealing with your feelings right away you’ll be able to keep burnout at bay.