The Caribbean Association of Georgia, Inc. (CAG), under the leadership of President Samantha Samuels, voted to establish Mental Health as a key initiative to address in the Caribbean community to increase awareness, diminish stigma, alleviate misunderstandings, and facilitate dialogue about Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Suicide amongst the Caribbean population.
"Getting Rid of the Stigma" is one of the reasons we want to bring light to mental health in the Caribbean Community. Mental health services are a challenge in the community and this is based from cultural stigmatization and because of this many first-generation Caribbean-Americans are struggling with both home and American life.
In their homes they are considered Caribbean, but they want to identify with being Americans as well. We want Mental Health Professionals to be educated and aware as to some of the challenges that face the first generation of Caribbean Americans. Secondly, we want parents to understand that their child is not mad or crazy or will not embarrass them if they get help with coping with life. To the first generation of Caribbean Americans we want them to know it is okay to seek help, they are not weak but strong individuals.
· On average, Caribbean countries spend only 4.3 % of their healthcare budgets on mental health services
· 60% of mental health patients in the Caribbean are less likely to have received mental-health treatment or counseling