Chapter 8 Destigmatizing Black Mental Health: A Gay Black Woman’s Experience

Tianna Cobb

What is the most important takeaway from your chapter? 

We all must expose systems of oppression, increase awareness, and promote action to work toward more [mental] health equity for Black communities. 

If you were making discussion questions for students (advanced undergraduates or early graduate students) to go along with your chapter, what would they be?  

  1. In what ways can autoethnography add to existing theory of mental health and rhetoric? 
    • How can the sharing of personal stories expand theory to be more inclusive? 
  2. How does exposing systematic forms of oppression work toward health equity for Black communities? 
  3. In what ways can communication serve as a tool to destigmatize mental health within Black communities? 
  4. How can practitioners and researchers work together to create a health equitable society for the underserved? (Be sure to identify each of their roles and how they complement one another) 
  5. Why is it important to center the voices of community members in research aimed at health equity?

What questions do you feel your chapter leaves un-examined or where would you go with it next? 

  1. What messages are most effective in destigmatizing mental health within Black communities? 
  2. In what ways are Black family conversations influencing the perceptions of mental health? 
  3. What organizations have implemented changes to address disparities? What are these changes and how effective have they been? 

Is there anything that you want those considering doing work in MHR to know? 

Rhetoric is central to destigmatizing mental health, increasing the awareness of mental health, and treating mental health. This work is integral in improving the mental wellness of our society. None of this work would be possible without the focus of communication and rhetoric.  

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