Coronavirus trauma and african americans’ mental health: Seizing opportunities for transformational change

Lonnie R. Snowden, Jonathan M. Snowden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic is a natural disaster of historic proportions with widespread and profound psychological sequelae. African Americans fall ill and die more than whites from COVID and more survivors and loved ones face psychological risk. African Americans also experience greater personal, social, and financial stress even when not personally touched by COVID illness, and they are again vulnerable as COVID diminishes African American community’s capacity for mutual support. Enactment of the American Rescue Act of 2021 can moderate if not eliminate African Americans’ greater adversity and greater psychological challenge; other provisions can move the mental health treatment system beyond its previous failure to reach African Americans as it constructively responds to the crisis that COVID presents. From outreach through trusted community actors and institutions for meeting African Americans’ needs of varying intensity and duration, and by providing a spectrum of evidence supported interventions—culturally adapted as needed—newfound success can mark a turning point toward new approaches and lasting success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3568
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • African Americans
  • COVID-19
  • Disaster response
  • Mental health
  • Mental health policy
  • Mental health services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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