Texas A&M University-Central Texas has revealed that the school will be conducting a research study, which will explore the issues black women in America deal with when they are battling depression.
According to the Killeen Daily Herald, a Texas A&M University-Central Texas professor named DeAnna Harris-McKoy (pictured) will lead this study, which is called “Exploring Black Women’s Experiences and Perception of and Recovery from Depression.”
Harris-McKoy is a recipient of a special grant designated for this study from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. She teaches for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Texas A&M University-Central Texas.
Harris-McKoy’s work as undergraduate during a youth leadership summit in urban Baltimore, Maryland inspired her to engage in activity, which would give her the opportunity to find out more about how to successfully deal with mental health adversities. She became focused on dealing with issues that affect black women in particular.
“Black women have been objectified and dehumanized through history, so there’s this negative stereotype of them being emotionally indestructible and strong,” Harris-McKoy told the Killeen Daily Herald in an exclusive interview.
“There’s a perception that black women can handle all the trauma and the pain they’re going through, and they’re not being diagnosed because they’re still functioning even with all these symptoms,” she continued.
Harris-McKoy also talked to the Killeen Daily Herald about other institutional factors, which prevent black women from being properly diagnosed and treated for mental illness.
“There’s a global mental health stigma you’re not supposed to admit that you have mental health problems because you’re going to be seen as weak or crazy,” Harris-McKoy also said.
“And Black women, we don’t go to talk to therapists, because you can handle it yourself, or go to your religious institute and pray about it,” she added.
This study will be undertaken on a basis that is more client and community oriented. The research will be conducted in the Texas cities of Austin and Killeen.