/  05.07.2020

Taraji P. Henson is a well-known advocate for mental health and now the esteemed actress is turning her efforts toward COVID-19 first responders. Henson’s Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation has partnered with the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation — founded by the legendary rapper’s mother Afeni Shakur — to launch the Matching Gift campaign.

According to Deadline, the campaign will work to provide free access to mental health services to frontline workers, including healthcare professionals, essential workers and first responders who are struggling with mental health conditions, stress, substance abuse, or learning how to cope in these unprecedented times.

“No one should suffer in silence,” Henson said of the campaign in a press statement. “Our vision is to change the perception of mental health in the Black community. Together, we will make a difference. This is our legacy.”

All donations toward the campaign raised by the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation will be matched by Henson’s foundation, up to $25,000. Proceeds from the drive will reportedly fund virtual therapy sessions for frontline workers with trained therapists.

Since its founding in 1997, the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation has been committed to addressing mental health and trauma, as well as providing resources for overall wellness.

“It is my belief that in order to honor our ancestors and ourselves, we must look inwards; identify and interrogate the root causes of our traumas,” Tupac’s sister Sekyiwa Shakur added. “What we as an organization wish to offer are observable steps to reach these goals and we are happy to partner with the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation to make a difference within the mental health community. I believe we are worth the effort.”

Henson’s foundation has additionally launched the COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign in an effort to raise money for mental health services for others who are suffering from pandemic-related stress or anxiety. The fund will provide up to five therapy sessions on a first-come, first-serve basis.


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