Annelle Primm, MD, MPH, director of Minority and National Affairs at the American Psychiatric Association, urges African Americans to use their options when faced with overwhelming problems.

Consider therapy. Although many blacks prefer being stoic and “toughing out” their troubles instead of seeking mental health services, realize that group and one-on-one therapy is an effective and empowering action.

Connect with peers through social support. This is an important ingredient in both mental health and overall health. Family practice doctors, community centers and even local community mental health centers can be a link to finding support and a way to combat fear and isolation.

Help others. Reach out and assist others. In doing so, you’ll overcome personal feelings of helplessness—and reap positive mental health benefits too.

Don’t give up. While it may take a few phone calls and visits to find the right support group, Primm says, it’s important to keep trying to connect.