What the Black Community Needs to Know About the ‘Holiday Blues’ | NAMI

What the Black Community Needs to Know About the ‘Holiday Blues’

Posted on December 20, 2021

For Black Americans, unique challenges can contribute to the heightened feelings of stress, sadness, and loneliness that many people experience at this time of year. Feelings of grief may be more pronounced with the absence of loved ones from annual events. A disproportionate number of Black and brown people have become sick or died of COVID-19. Whether it's the absence of a loved one, financial insecurity, or a mental health condition that's contributing to anxiety, depression, or simply feeling off, there are things you can do to prevent a spiral during the holiday season. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about one in five adults overall will experience mental illness each year, and African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious psychological distress than members of other racial groups, the NIMHD reports. It’s important to find culturally competent care when possible. Someone with shared cultural and life experiences, including facing racism, discrimination, and structural inequities, can better understand and advise for your situation, according to NAMI. When looking for a provider, it’s normal and acceptable to ask questions of a few providers to find the right fit.


NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).