Mental Health Resources for Black People
You can’t fight for the rights of others without fighting for yourself
(Valerie Muzondi/Rowdy Magazine Art Director)
It’s been a rough two weeks, to say the least. The Black Lives Matter movement has surged throughout the country to protest police brutality and the recent unjust killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many more. The anger of protesters around the country didn’t come out of nowhere. We’ve BEEN angry for a long time, and people have just had enough.
It’s a revolutionary time, but dealing with the stress of fighting for basic human rights can be exhausting on anyone’s mental health. Right now, it’s important for Black people to have proper access to mental health care more than ever before.
About 70% of Black people who live with mental health issues don’t receive treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2018. This may be because of the stigma surrounding mental health within the Black community.
"Culturally, mental problems were considered a sign of weakness," Dion Metzger, MD, a board certified psychiatrist told The/Thirty. “Therapy was thought of as something rich, weak people do.”
We’re here to provide you with some resources to help you through the process of overcoming it. You can’t fight for the rights of others without fighting for yourself.
If you need help right away:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
GLBT National Hotline: 888-843-4564
Trevor Project: 866-488-7386 or text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
National Alliance on Mental Illness: text “NAMI” to 741741
Here’s a guide of mental health resources specifically for Black people:
1) Therapy for Black Girls
Dr. Joy Harden Bradford founded the Therapy For Black Girls organization to dissipate the stigma surrounding therapy in the Black community and connect Black women with Black therapists. It has an online directory, a podcast AND a support group for Black women. How convenient is that?
On its online directory, Black women can connect with Black therapists to find someone who may better understand their experiences.
For some free inspiration from Dr. Joy Harden Bradford herself, Therapy For Black Girls has a podcast that talks about mental health, personal development and the small decisions listeners can make to become their best possible selves.
As if that wasn’t enough, Therapy for Black Girls also has a Facebook support group called the Thrive Tribe where Black women can speak their truth and find a community with others who understand their experiences.
2) Therapy for Black Men
We’re all for gender equality. Therefore, we couldn’t include Therapy for Black Girls without Therapy for Black Men. The organization was co-founded by Vladimire Calixte and Benjamin Calixte with similar intentions of Therapy for Black Girls: to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and provide resources for Black men.
On its online directory, Black men can easily locate Black therapists in their area and read through their bios to find the right fit for them.
3) Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation
Given how quickly things changed this past couple of months, this nonprofit started the Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign to raise money for mental health services for Black people living with “life-changing stressors and anxiety.”
Black people can apply here, and if accepted, they will receive five free individual sessions (Hint for my non-Black friends: this is another org to donate to help out.)
The application criteria include: being 14 years old and older; having internet access in a private environment; no medical insurance or flexible spending plan. Round two for the campaign has already started so make sure to sign up soon.
To support the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, text NOSTIGMA to 707070
Talkspace hosts a private, therapist-led support group on Facebook for members to discuss racial trauma and how it may affect them. The organization also matches BIPOC with therapists that will best match their needs. First, users live chat with a matching agent to get them paired up with their best therapeutic fit. Then, they can schedule a psychiatry session and begin their treatment from there.
After publicly stating that Black Lives Matter, Talkspace provided this awesome promo code BLM2020 for $130 off the first month of any Talkspace plan.
5) The Safe Place App
The Safe Place is a free mental health app designed to raise more awareness of mental illnesses within the Black community. On the app, available on both Apple and Android devices, users can find mental health resources, self-assessment questions and inspirational quotes from Black people.
The Safe Place also has a private Facebook group for Black people to talk about their mental health experiences together and break down barriers.
6) Ethel’s Club
Ethel’s Club is a digital membership club that encourages POC to take up the space they so rightfully deserve. Membership currently costs $16.99 per month.
Members can vibe, heal, gather and create. It’s all about celebrating each other. The community offers virtual classes, events, wellness and workout sessions, and more.
In light of all the craziness in the world right now, they will have a free healing and grieving event for the Black community will be hosted on June 23 at 6 p.m. (virtually, of course). Stay updated on more free virtual events by checking Ethel’s Club’s Instagram story.
7) The Bodyful Black Girl Podcast
This healing podcast — available on Apple and Spotify — is hosted by Jennifer Sterling, a New York City dance/movement psychotherapist who talks to Black women on depression, anxiety and trauma. She hopes to help Black women living with depression. In past episodes, she’s spoken to GG Renee Hill on self care (beyond face masks) and Bernadette Pleasant, the creator of Femme! on the importance of creating safe spaces for Black women.
8) Melanin for Mental Health
This organization helps people within Black and Latinx communities across the country find access to mental health clinicians. Its directory allows users to easily find clinicians in their area. The organization also produces a free podcast called Between Sessions, where “dope therapists have dope conversations.”
We’re in a movement to fight for Black lives. Black people taking care of their mental health is a part of that.
The steps to better your mental health aren’t always easy ones, but if you’ve come this far to seek help, that’s a great start. There’s never any shame in seeking help.
Lauren Rousseau is the online editor for Rowdy Magazine. In her spare time,she enjoys listening to music with the volume too loud, watching off-brand versions of The Bachelor, and baking cookies at inappropriate hours. You can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.