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Black in Asheville Topic: Mental Health

Authored by Aimee Hills
Special thanks to Brailey Sheridan for indexing this paper

African-Americans in Buncombe County suffer from limited access to mental healthcare. This inequitable access manifests itself in historical misdiagnoses and a lack of adequate treatment and cultural understanding by healthcare providers. With little support from their healthcare providers, a lack of representation in the healthcare field, and decreasing access to individual treatment through lessening Medicaid funding, African-Americans have shown greater rates of chemical dependency, joblessness, gang involvement, suicide, and incarceration. The implementation of Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), a joint effort between the police, mental health professionals, and family members to provide mental healthcare to people with mental illness before booking them, could help increase early treatment and decrease the number of inmates in jail. CIT combined with other programs sponsored by churches and community centers, could provide mental health resources and decrease stigma, which in turn could save

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