Kimya N. Dennis
Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Studies; Creator and Coordinator of Criminal Studies program, Salem College

As a sociologist and criminologist, I often do community outreach on mental health prevention. I urge organizations and programs to avoid “one size fits all” approaches. There are many ways that mental health issues can impact individuals, depending upon race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual identity, religion and more.

But I have found mental health conditions and suicide are often still considered a “white people’s problem.” When I speak with African-Americans and non-white Hispanics – groups that are often overlooked by the mental health community – I’m often asked why I’m “wasting time” addressing race, ethnicity and other cultural variations…