Advocates say it's time to take a closer look at the mental health of all African American men

FOX 32 NEWS - Chicago rapper Kanye West remains hospitalized as of Wednesday because of mental health issues.

With all of that attention, advocates say it's time to take a closer look at the mental health of all African American men. It's something many said isn't spoken about.

"I've been sent here to give y'all my truth, even at the risk of my own life," Kanye West told a crowd on Saturday. "Even at the risk of my own success."

West stopped his concert in Sacramento with this rant just a couple of songs into his show.

Days later, TMZ reported he was taken by ambulance and handcuffed to a gurney to UCLA Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation.
               
West isn't the only hip hop artist to struggle with mental health issues.

Kid Cudi posted on his Facebook page last month that he was struggling, saying, "I checked myself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges. I am not at peace."

"I believe that trauma in many black communities, it's so normalized to the point that it's not even recognized as trauma anymore," said Che "Rhymefest" Smith.

Local hip hop artist and Kanye West collaborator Rhymefest said it's an issue that is now in the spotlight.

"When we look at the violence, when we look at the protests," he added. "The simple things like over taxation, under employment, not having adequate education, these things have become so normal that we don't even recognize them as traumas."

Mental health advocates say there is a stigma when it comes to seeking help.

"Unfortunately in the African American community, the hip hop community sometimes discourages it," said psychologist, Dr. Tiffany Sanders. "Because they say you know, drinking and alcohol and partying and doing those sort of things, but those aren't healthy coping mechanisms. So healthy coping mechanisms are talking to a counselor, seeing a doctor... maybe, possibly getting some medication to help you deal with whatever you are facing."

To combat this and other problems, Rhymefest told FOX 32 News that that is why the project, Heal Chicago, was started. It aims to give people like barbers and stylists the tools to help people find ways to cope with issues in their lives.

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