206776 African American College Students' perceptions about Depression

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tamara Warren , Department of Communication and Culture, Howard University, Washington, DC
Janice Smith , Department of Communication and Culture, Howard University, Washington, DC
Ivon Alcime , Department of Communication and Culture, Howard University, Washington, DC
The primary purpose of this study is to discover the perceptions that African- American college students hold regarding messages about depression. Although recent reports on mental illness suggest that the rate among African Americans suffering from a mental illness is similar to that of Caucasians, a closer look at debilitating mental illness disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia reveal interesting cultural differences (DHHS, 2001, “What is mental illness,” 2007). According to the Surgeon General's report on mental health, African Americans along with other minority populations are not only less likely to use professional mental health services, but often do not receive the same quality of services as White Americans (DHHS, 2001). For African Americans who suffer from a mental illness, several barriers prevent those who have mental disorders from receiving appropriate treatment, including cost of treatment, stigma, and a lack of understanding about mental health symptoms (Neighbors & Williams, 2001, DHHS, 2001, Institute of Health, 2003. This study employs a self-reporting questionnaire administered to college students at a historically black university about their perceptions of three video PSAs on depression to determine which messages prove salient to their beliefs concerning depression.

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify the perceptions African American college students have regarding depression 2.Allow scholars an opportunity to assess opportunities to educate African American youth about depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student conducting research in the areas of depression in the African American community.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.