For Black History Month, Columbia U. Highlights the Struggle for Mental Health Equity and Justice

Feb. 5, 2024

For Black History Month, the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and the New York State Psychiatric Institute are honoring Black History Month through the lens of this year's theme, "African Americans and the Arts," paying homage to the immense, creative influence of Black Americans, spanning music, literature, visual arts, theatre, and beyond.

In honor and remembrance, the National Museum of African American History and Culture pays tribute to those who have historically served as change agents through their crafts at the Museum's Cultural Expressions Exhibit, which explores five ways that African American and African diaspora culture is expressed.

In celebrating artistic expression, Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute highlight that it is equally important to recognize the interesting layers of the Black experience, including the ongoing struggle for mental health equity and justice.

As shared in the February 1, 2024 issue of Columbia Psychiatry News, "This legacy has left an indelible mark on the psyche of Black and African Americans, who often grapple with higher rates of psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Structural racism and cultural stigma continue to impede access to mental health care within these communities, compounded by a deep-seated mistrust of medical institutions due to historical exploitation and mistreatment."

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