If you believe that black lives matter, then you should also realize that black mental health matters too.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a global protest that has sparked a hashtag. BLM is a decentralized political and social movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. And I am sure you support this movement. If you believe that black lives matter, then you should also realize that black mental health matters too.
According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African-Americans are 10% more likely to experience serious psychological distress. And it is sad to know that only 30% of African-American adults with mental illnesses get help and support every year. We cannot deny the fact that racism and racial trauma continue to affect the mental well-being of African-Americans, not to mention other problems that they already suffer from. Mental health treatments should not be hard to reach. And yes, there are some resources that could help people of color. Here's what you can do if you think and feel like racism and the lack of justice for black people are taking a toll on your mental health.
I know what you are thinking. That finding a trusted, culturally-competent therapist is so hard that sometimes it just feels like it is not worth it. Don't worry, Therapy for Black Girls is here to help you deal with your mental health issues and navigate being a strong, black woman. This wildly popular mental health podcast is founded by Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, speaker, and the host of Therapy for Black Girls. They aim to help and support black women who want to be seen, heard, and understood. Therapy for Black Girls presents mental health topics in a way that feels more accessible and relevant. They also produce a podcast, publishes a weekly newsletter, and host free support groups on Thursday nights.
If you think therapy is expensive for you and is something that you cannot afford, there are virtual sessions you can attend. You should check Sista Afya, an online support group that provides low-cost mental wellness services that center on the experiences of black women. They also have virtual conversations that make it more accessible for you. Another online support group that you should check on right now is Ethel's Club. They create healing spaces that center and celebrate people of color through conversation, wellness, and creativity. This Brooklyn-based wellness group also hosts virtual group healing and grieving sessions twice a month.
If you have not heard of the Safe Place app yet, then now is the time to download it and find statistics about mental health in the black community. You can also find advice on how to deal with mental health illnesses and tips about addressing mental health with your family.
Never ever think that it is your duty to educate white people about racism. It is always great to work somewhere that acknowledges the struggles black people face and an environment that is actively working to stop and end systematic racism.
Girls, do not be scared to ask for help. It may feel hard and scary, but it is important to prioritize your mental health. I hope these resources can help you cope with the stress and anxiety that racism, discrimination, and brutal incidents bring you.
If you want to get more beauty advice, some hair care tips for dark-skinned women, travel inspirations, food tips, and literally anything that is helpful for people of color, be sure to check out Black Lifestyle.