Dr. Angela Neal Barnett, PhD
Professor of Psychology at Kent State University
Angela Neal-Barnett, PhD, is a professor of psychology at Kent State University, is a leading expert on anxiety disorders among African Americans. She is the CEO of Soothe Your Nerves, Inc., and the author of Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman’s Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Fear (Fireside/Simon and Schuster, 2003).
More than 40 million adults in the United States suffer from some form of anxiety. Sadly, only one-third recognize what may be happening and talk to their doctor; only about one-quarter of African Americans seek mental health care, compared to 40 percent of whites. And of these who do seek help, many African Americans face an additional obstacle. The number of African American therapists is extremely small: about 1.8 percent of licensed psychologists, 2.3 percent of all psychiatrists, and 7 percent of licensed social workers. Many African Americans worry that their therapist may not be able to understand and help them if they don’t share a cultural background.