African American women rate the highest for mortality among all races and genders when diagnosed with chronic health diseases such as heart disease and stroke caused by physical and mental illness (Jones, R., 2017). Anxiety and depression are high among women of color due to social stressors, financial hardships, and cultural stressors such as poverty and discrimination (Ponting et al., 2020). Naslund et al. (2020) conversed that social media has been and still is a prominent fixture in the lives of many individuals facing the challenges of mental illness. In 2020, statistics showed an estimated 3.8 billion social media users globally (2020). According to Medical News Today, increasing from 35% in 2012, an estimate of 45% of internet users who are Facebook users are 65 years old and older. The latest statistics show an estimate of 42% of adults who are online using more than one social networking site (Whiteman, 2015). The purpose of this study will determine how online mental resources benefit women of color. This study provided reasons why women of color developed mental illnesses and chose online mental resources instead of seeking in-person therapy sessions with a licensed therapist. A qualitative analysis was performed for further examination and to obtain data from African American women between the ages 18-60 years old, who are frequent users of social media, and who experienced anxiety, mental illness, or traumatic episodes. Thirty-seven anonymous African American women participants answered a questionnaire, and their response were evaluated to support this study. After assessing each participant's response, the results proved that online mental resources benefit African American women.


Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Date


First Advisor

Dr. Chad Murphy

Document Type