The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) hosted its 16th Annual Mental Health Conference on October 2 in Indianapolis, highlighting mental health issues and barriers to care for African-American military veterans.

Stigma surrounding mental illness, along with specific cultural barriers to recognizing and treating mental illness, leaves African Americans particularly vulnerable, according to Wilma Townsend, president of WLT Consulting and a presenter at the conference. Townsend reported that suicide in black men has increased fivefold during the past 10 years. Moreover, fear of diagnoses and treatment has resulted in 25 percent of African Americans with mood disorders abandoning care after a single visit with a provider. An additional 25 percent leave after the second visit.

The conference was broadcast live from Indianapolis, and videos of the presentations are available online (some browsers may not support this website).