A BIT ABOUT ME
My name is Andre Humphrey. I am the founder of Inner City Bliss. We offer trauma-informed yoga and meditation to black and brown communities. Most seem surprised when I explain what I do. They always want to know about the path that lead me to creating non-profit organization focused on the mental health of black and brown communities.
Whenever I am asked this question two things immediately come to mind. Either the person asking is completely oblivious to the trials and tribulations of the inner- cities of America or they want to know what I have been through personally that inspired me. I tend to believe that most are aware of all the issues that have plagued the inner city for the last 40 years. I can only assume they want to know all the details of my past and how it inspired me to create Inner City Bliss.
I don't mind sharing my story at all. However, before I do let me share some statistics with you.
-African American children have almost twice the risk of sexual abuse than white children. Children in low socioeconomic status households are three times more likely to be a victim of child abuse.
-Black men are nearly six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men, and federal court imposed prison sentences on black men were 19% longer than those imposed on similarly situated white men between 2011 and 2016.
-Poverty level affects mental health status. African Americans are three times more likely to report psychological distress if they are living below the poverty line.
-Black/African Americans hold beliefs related to stigma, psychological openness, and help-seeking, which in turn affect their coping behaviors. Black/African American men are particularly concerned about this stigma.
-Only around 2 percent of the American Psychological Association member and associates identify as African American. Misdiagnosis, inadequate treatment and lack of cultural competence by health professionals breed distrust and prevent many individuals from seeking help or staying in treatment.
-Black/African Americans of all ages are more likely to be victims of serious violent crime than are non-Hispanic whites, making them more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
-63% percent of African Americans believe that depression is a personal weakness.
-Only 31% of African Americans believed that depression was a "health problem.
-Suicide is the third leading cause of death among African Americans ages 15 to 24.
Whew!!! I know that was a lot to take in. So let me ask you a question...
Do you still need to hear my story as to why I started Inner City Bliss or is their story enough? My story is their story.
As a youth, I struggled with my mental health mightily. There never seemed to be any help outside of the black church. So if the church is not your thing where do you go for help? All other options were unaffordable or culturally incompetent. This is why I created Inner City Bliss. The goal is to provide African Americans an alternative approach to mental health management in a culturally competent environment.
The mental health of black Americans is something that can no longer be ignored and has to be addressed. At Inner City Bliss we are committed to doing what we can to provide some relief to black and brown communities.