The passing of Chicago’s Fredo Santana has presumably left the hip-hop community discussing lean addition, but Vic Mensa provided another important perspective on mental health in the black community.
Shared on Sunday (Jan. 21), the rapper paid condolences to his fellow Chicago bredren and how the 27-year-old was evolving into a progressive creative. Known for his music in the Chicago drill scene, Santana enjoyed the success but also fell victim to a lead addiction that caused damaged to his organs, resulting in the fatal seizure that took his life.
“Fredo was the spirit of the drill movement, and the Chicago streets he embodied,” he said paired with a photos of the two. But Mensa followed up with the grim truth behind mental health conditions in poverty-stricken and violent communities many call home.
“He spoke about his drug use and trying to escape the PTSD he had from growing up in the hood, surrounded by violence,” Mensa said about the rapper. “I call it post traumatic streets disorder. We need to evaluate the conditions in our communities that raise young black men with more psychological issues than they can ever really unpack. We have to diagnose the system, not the symptoms.”
For years, studies have shown the connection between mental health, race and socio-economic status. Those who live in low-income areas tend to have a higher risk of mental illness. With the original moniker (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) not officially created until 1979, most diagnoses have gone overlooked or mistaken for “the blues.”
Mental Health America also points out that less than 2 percent of the American Psychological Association members are Black/African-American, making it harder for research to be culturally accurate and more instances of microaggression from therapists to exist.
Find out more about the topic here.