Experts say access to mental health services is an ongoing concern for minorities in Mississippi. As MPB's Ashley Norwood reports, they're exposed more often to social conditions that trigger mental illness.
Kiara Kincaid is 28 years old. The Jackson resident says she experienced a great deal of trauma growing up in Las Vegas.
"It got to the point to where I started exploding. Got in trouble with the law here and there. Talking to a therapist I was able to release my tension. But, ultimately it was getting to the point where I could accept it... you might have a problem," said Kincaid.
Kincaid says fighting depression now as a mother, a student, a fiancee', and an employee is stressful.
"I still function in society. I try not to make my illness dictate how I am going to act that day. If I am not on my medicine though, I do not know how my day is going to go," said Kincaid.
African American adults are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than white adults, according to the non-profit organization Mental Health America.
Dr. Clyde Glenn is a psychiatrist in Ridgeland. He says societal triggers like poverty can increase a person's risk for mental illnesses.
"Needing to have a certain amount of income to survive, that stress in it of itself can lead to depression, anxiety, and excessive worry," said Glenn.
Glenn says access to quality services is limited.
"Consequently something that may be relatively easily addressed or treated might compound and become something much more egregious due to lack of attention, lack of treatment or lack of accessibility," said Glenn.
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.