Health Promotion among African-Americans

HEALTH PROMOTION AMONG AFRCAN-AMERICANS 5

HealthPromotion among African-Americans

Accordingto the U.S Census Bureau, the population of Blacks orAfrican-Americans stands at close to 13.2 percent of the country’scitizens. Historically, African-Americans are among the communitiesthat faced racial discrimination in the frontiers such as educationand health. The group issue contributed to socio-economic disparitiesthat continue in the modern world. Some individuals are homeless andpoor while others indulge in drugs and substance abuse. Furthermore,their socio-economic status contributes to the high prevalence ofmental health problems. Despite the government’s initiatives toreduce poverty rates, the effects of mental health onAfrican-Americans continue to have adverse consequences. The U.SOffice of Minority Health asserts that African-Americans are 20percent likely to encounter mental health problems compared to thewhites. Besides, they are more vulnerable to conditions such asschizophrenia, depression, attempted suicide, and drug abuse.Understanding the demographics of a given population is essential toimprove the relation between the patients and the caregivers.Advocacy through awareness and health education can help to increasethe service users` sense of empowerment when engaging with the healthand social care services.

Depressionand mental health problems among children and adults in the U.S is amatter that requires deeper study to get the contributing factors.Otherwise, the population could be suffering from other conditionsbesides depression. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of thevictims has sought help from mental health practitioners. Studiesindicate that most African-Americans are less likely to report orseek medical interventions for their condition. The trend makes itdifficult to generate appropriate measures to address their problemsin the name of reducing the prevalence rates. It is, thus, clear thatthe victims and the policymakers have not taken the health promotionand advocacy seriously. There is a great need for the government toconsider developing appropriate measures to create awareness onimportant issues that assist in lessening the burdens created bymental health issues. Perhaps the government needs to examine whetherthe socio-political and economic conditions at the time have anycontribution towards increasing the citizens’ worries. Oneimportant consideration is the effect of financial difficultiesaffecting the black population (Pieterse, Todd, Neville, &ampCarter, 2012).

Therole of advocacy in health and social care cannot be underestimateddue to the increased importance to use multi-pronged approaches tothe healthcare problems. Health promotion has a great contributiontowards the realization of clinical outcomes. Both the public andpolicymakers recognize the importance of epidemiological findings inimproving health well-being (Eldredge et al., 2015). Health promotionis essential in the examination of regulations, standards, andpractices that influence health choices. Advocacy prompts goodbehavior and habits that affect clinical outcomes. The highprevalence of mental disorders among the African-Americans can bereduced through increased health promotion and awareness initiatives.In health and social care, advocacy has a leading role in influencingthe public and decision-makers in the formulation of appropriateinterventions to mitigate and manage the health problems.

Accordingto Verhaeghe et al. (2013), nurses see advocacy as an appropriatemechanism to communicate and share a common humanity with thepatients (p. 240). The practitioners should adopt a collaborativeapproach that will promote good ideas. Patient advocacy isattributable to the relationship between the nurse and the patient.The approach helps in the provision of personalized care to the sickpeople. Patient-centered treatment seeks to understand the specificneeds of the patients. The U.S has a varied population, which hasdistinct attributes, which influence the clinical outcomes. Advocacyresults in enhanced outcomes. Cultural awareness is an important formof support due to the diverse characteristics of the patients.Advocacy also seeks to provide health information to the patients andtheir families. The aim is to develop a holistic approach that willimprove outcomes.

Further,studies reflect that many patients tend to buy medications withoutnecessarily seeking the right procedures. The individuals are morelikely to purchase drugs from a chemist, even without a prescription.Whereas antidepressants are used for the treatment of conditions suchas stress and depression, they can also be utilized for reducinghealth challenges such as anxiety disorders. The prevalence rates,with the consideration of age, gender, race, and income, requirefurther examination to generate better interventions (Alegría etal., 2015). It is clear that most Americans take antidepressants inthe course of their lives even without prescription from a qualifiedphysician. The trend raises concern about the citizens’comprehension about the significance of seeking advice from qualifiedpractitioners. Self-medication is likely to generate other problemsto the victims (Pietrzak et al., 2015).

Inconclusion, demographics such as income levels, race, and gender haveconsiderable influence on the stress contributors of an individual.Different studies reveal that demographics within a given populationgroup can affect their lives either positively or negatively. Somepeople are taking one dosage while others are taking more, hence, theneed to have detailed examination of the underlying issues. It isappropriate for policy makers to work towards developinginterventions, as well as studying the risk factors associated withthe vulnerable groups. Examining factors such as age, income levels,race, and gender reveals significant findings that can assist inareas of further research.

References

Alegría,M., Chatterji, P., Wells, K., Cao, Z., Chen, C., Takeuchi, D., &ampMeng, X. (2015). Disparity in depression treatment among racial andethnic minority populations in the United States. Psychiatricservices.

Eldredge,L., Markham, C., Kok, G., Ruiter, R., &amp Parcel, G. (2016).Planninghealth promotion programs: an intervention mapping approach.Hoboken: John Wiley &amp Sons.

Pieterse,A., Todd, N., Neville, H., &amp Carter, R. (2012). Perceived racismand mental health among Black American adults: a meta-analyticreview. Journalof Counseling Psychology,59(1),1.

Pietrzak,R., Johnson, D., Goldstein, M., Malley, J., &amp Southwick, S.(2015). Perceived stigma and barriers to mental health careutilization among OEF-OIF veterans. Psychiatricservices.

Verhaeghe,N., Maeseneer, J., Maes, L., Heeringen, C., &amp Annemans, L.(2013). Health promotion in mental health care: perceptions frompatients and mental health nurses. Journalof clinical nursing,22(11-12),1569-1578.