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Black America Urged to Confront Its Secret Pain: Depression
Date:9/28/2007

ased disease," said Altha Stewart, MD, president of the American Psychiatric Foundation, a founding member of the Depression Is Real Coalition. "Depression can be especially devastating because it is linked to other medical conditions experienced by black women in high numbers, including obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease. And, left untreated, depression can be fatal. We need to do all we can to encourage black women to confront their depression and ensure they get the health care they need."

Depression disproportionately impacts black women:

-- Depression among black women is almost 50% higher than it is among

white women.

-- Of black women suffering from depression, only 7% receive treatment

compared to 20% of white women.

-- Black women are twice as more likely to suffer from depression than

black men.

Terrie M. Williams, author of the forthcoming book Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting, commented, "My hope is that black women and all of Black America will take a painfully honest look at a silent killer in its own community -- depression. The worst part is that we ourselves are often unaware that we suffer from depression, or - if we know it - too ashamed to admit it and seek help. And until we address the reality of this illness, many of us can't begin to tear down the other obstacles that hold us back."

In addition to Dr. Stewart, experts who joined today's panel include Rahn Bailey, MD, National Medical Association; Lynne Saunders, National Alliance on Mental Illness; Gina Villani, MD, National Urban League; and Angela M. Burks, JD, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.

Panelists addressed a number of issues surrounding mental health and black women, including health care disparities; depression and its link to breast cancer; workplace depression; the role of families in mental health care; as well as the racism, gender bias, poverty, and social disadvan
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SOURCE Depression Is Real Coalition
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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