While most of the country has embraced therapy and wellness culture, mental health within the Black community remains taboo. However, now, more than ever, Black mental health is the most important thing to be prioritized. According to the CDC, the death rate of Black Americans has declined about 25 percent over 17 years, primarily for those aged 65 years and older. However, younger Black Americans are living with or dying of many conditions typically found in white Americans at older ages. Social factors due to racism like higher employment rates, poverty rates, and inability to see a healthcare provider because of costs, greatly effects Black Americans’ overall physical health.
While physical health is a main priority, mental health is often overlooked. Mental health care is not a one size fits all. The Black community has endured years of systemic racism. How the Black community and their non-Black counterparts are diagnosed and treated are vastly different. Unfortunately, there just are not enough resources as readily available to them. Oftentimes, for Black people that do pursue therapy, encounter barriers such as culturally incompetent therapists and discrimination in healthcare settings. Mashable reported in an email, from Jameta Nicole Barlow, a community health psychologist, “While anger and its expression is an important emotion to grapple with, Black people are not given any space to express that anger or rage without experiencing a negative outcome. Black people need time and space to even accept that we need healing, as we’ve been forced to move on in spite of [what’s happened]…” Barlow also recommends limiting social media and news when appropriate because it can be very draining instead of restorative.
Below are 10 great Black-run, mental health resources for the Black community:
1. Balanced Black Girl: Showcases Black artists, their very own podcast, tweets from Twitter and more advice. Has an amazing Google Doc with more mental health and self-care resources.
2. Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM): Advocates, artists, therapists, religious leaders, activists, psychologists, and others make up this nonprofit collective. They are “committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities.” Offerings include trainings and events, resources that promote wellness, emotional regulation, and coping skills, and information on how to find a culturally competent therapist.
3. Black Mental Wellness: Established by a team of Black psychologists, this organization offers plenty of mental health advice from destigmatizing therapy to discussions about Black men’s mental health to practicing gratitude to coping with anxiety.
4. Black Women’s Health Imperative: An organization that combines policy, advocacy, education, research and leadership development for Black women.
5. Brother You’re on My Mind: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and NIMHD collaborated to educate about the mental health challenges that affect Black men and their families.
6. Brown Girl Self-Care: Their organization’s mission statement is “Help Black women healing from trauma go from ‘every once in a while’ self-care to EVERY DAY self-care”. This June, they are running a free virtual Self-Care x Sisterhood circle every Sunday.
7. Saddie Baddies: They have posts exploring a diverse array of topics from respectability politics, obsessive-compulsive disorder, self-harm, and loneliness. Their Instagram features people of color with the intention of making “a virtual safe space for young WoC to destigmatize mental health and initiate collective healing.”
8. Sad Girls Club: Millennial and Gen Z women with mental health illness will find this account beneficial. They can learn more about reducing stigma and share information about mental health services. Also features many people of color, including Black women, being open about mental health.
9. The Loveland Foundation: Writer, lecturer, and activist Rachel Elizabeth Cargle established the Loveland Foundation. One of its goals is to make mental health care more accessible for Black women and girls. It has partnered with the Therapy Fund, which helps offer financial assistance to Black women and girls who are trying to acquire therapy.
10. The Trevor Project: An organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Project has been aiding Black LGBTQ youth in crisis especially during these most recent injustices towards the Black community.
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