Defense Date

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mass Communications

First Advisor

Timothy Bajkiewicz

Abstract

Research has shown African Americans experience mental health issues at the same rate as the general population but seek treatment at only one-third that rate. Eleven African American low-income urban community leaders with basic training in mental health issues were interviewed about their perceptions of African American patterns of communication on mental health issues. Findings included a general consensus that the topic is generally not discussed, although passing references to a party’s perceived mental illness may be made using humor. When such discussion does take place, it happens only in a “safe space” with a trusted dialogue partner. Non-verbal cues are an important element of these conversations, as are non-judgmental, attentive and purposeful listening. The participants report that community members who did not receive the basic mental health training speak with great disparagement of those they perceive to be mentally ill.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

8-19-2014

Share

COinS