'Worth it': demand for Mental health treatment among people of color increases

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham-based psychotherapist Dr. Kamala Uzzell's case load has doubled since the start of the pandemic. With mainstream media normalizing mental healthcare, she said more people of color are seeking her services.

"I think so many things are going on through the past couple of years. The pandemic, the racial injustice and all other things happening. It's a necessity to reach out now and get help from a trained professional," said Uzzell.

Uzzell has also noticed clients seeking therapists who look like them.

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"When those topics of issues goes on, they have someone who can understand from their perspective and see things from that lens," said Uzzell.

Therapy clients across the Tar Heel State have their reasons for seeking mental health treatment. For Fayetteville resident Patrick Cortes, working out was an outlet for him, but he realized he needed more.

Cortes is 27 years old and battles internally with the stigma of therapy among people of color and men.

"Just to be clear, this is the first time I've ever did therapy in any shape or form ever in my entire life," said Cortes. "Of course, I was a little hesitant about it, but look at me. What do I look like doing therapy?"

Cortes is now one month into mental health treatment and has no regrets. Neither does Dacia Redmond, 20, of Durham, who has been in therapy for two years.

"It allows you to slow down. Helps you have a better plan for how to function moving forward," said Redmond. "It is worth it. It's worth the experience."
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