Approximately 16% of non-Hispanic Black women reported having generalized anxiety in their lifetime. Furthermore, an estimated 27% of non-Hispanic Black women experienced depression in their lifetime.
Historically, mental illness has been underreported in the Black community; therefore, the true burden may be significantly higher than reported prevalence estimates. Taking into consideration the aforementioned rates of mental illness, and stressors caused or worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have a potential mental health crisis within an already underserved community. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the Black community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the rate of COVID-19 cases is 2.6 times higher among non-Hispanic Black persons than non-Hispanic White persons. Furthermore, the rate of COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths are 4.7 and 2.1 times higher, respectively, among non-Hispanic Black persons than non- Hispanic White persons. People are grieving the loss of loved ones, cancelled plans, and their loss of normalcy. COVID-19 is the visible pandemic, however the invisible pandemic that is occurring is the increase in mental illness due to high anxiety and depression. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to experience an anxiety or mood disorder. Therefore, it is important to understand how the stressors of the pandemic have affected the mental health of Black American women. The purpose of the project is to understand how the mental health of Black American women has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings will help to inform the design of future studies and telemental health service and resource offerings.