In the Black community, talking about mental health issues and seeking help have historically been seen as weaknesses — even though these conditions continue to affect our communities on a much larger scale than our white counterparts. With that being said, several programs and organizations are working day in and day out to support Black youth, women and men on their mental wellness journeys.
As a part of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ve listed nine programs that do exactly that. If you or someone you know is struggling, check out the resources below.
1. African American Wellness Project (AAWP)
The African-American Wellness Project is an initiative that specifically focuses on improving the health of the Black community from within. According to the company website, its mission is “to direct resources (dollars, services, information etc.) towards empowering the African-American Community to improve health outcomes and promote wellness.” The website also details the project’s primary emphasis, which is “the importance of lifestyle and health, prevention, screening and early detection.” Learn more about the African-American Wellness Project here!
2. Black Mental Health Alliance
According to the official website, Black Mental Health Alliance’s mission is “to develop, promote and sponsor trusted culturally-relevant educational forums, trainings and referral services that support the health and well-being of Black people and their communities.” They accomplish this by holding educational workshops and forums and connecting Black licensed mental health clinicians with potential clients through their referral database. Another big focus of the initiative is improving cultural awareness among therapists and clinicians — something that’s often lacking from traditional therapy outlets. To learn more about Black Mental Health Alliance, visit their website here!
3. Black Women’s Health Imperative
Black Women’s Health Imperative is a program striving to achieve health equality for all Black women and girls. One of their biggest goals is to increase the number of healthy Black women in the U.S. by millions. They have signature programs and special initiatives that focus on this while also emphasizing education, leadership and mentorship. Learn more about Black Women’s Health Imperative here!
4. Black Emotional And Mental Health Collective
The Black Emotional And Mental Health Collective (better known as BEAM) is a collective that’s introducing a brand new way to approach mental health and healing within the Black community. BEAM has it all covered, from crafting a toolbox that includes a plethora of enjoyable activities to addressing issues of reform, misogynoir and reproductive justice. BEAM is all about integrating healthy wellness systems into modern Black life. Learn more about the program and its ideology here!
5. Therapy For Black Girls
Therapy For Black Girls is a space created to introduce mental health topics in a manner that’s educational and relevant to Black women. Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is the mastermind behind Therapy For Black Girls and the host for a podcast of the same name. Both entities give Black women the ability to learn about mental health in an innovative way, while improving their wellness in the process. Learn more about Therapy For Black Girls here!
6. Therapy For Black Men
Therapy For Black Men’s initiative is “to break the stigma that asking for help is a sign of weakness.” Therapy For Black Men connects Black men with therapists and coaches that are all multiculturally competent. They also have an online directory that allows clients to search for a therapist or coach based on their location and specialty. They’ve been able to sponsor therapy for hundreds of men through their program and recently partnered with Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi to continue doing so. To learn more about Therapy For Black Men, check out their website here!
7. Black Men Heal
Black Men Heal is another program focused on providing mental health treatment, education and resources to Black men. Some of their programs include gun violence group therapy, individual psychotherapy, as well as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Several of their programs are also virtual, providing extra convenience for those looking to get involved. Men can apply for eight free therapy sessions through their website to get their start. To learn more about Black Men Heal, visit their website here!
8. Sista Afya
Sista Afya is a social enterprise that provides affordable mental health and wellness services for Black women. According to the official website, its mission is achieved in four ways: mental wellness education, resource connection, community support, and mental wellness merchandise. Sista Afya also provides information on the symptoms and stressors of particular mental health conditions, the different ways to begin your healing journey, and the steps to building a solid support system — all of which are crucial in one’s mental health journey. Get more information on Sista Afya and learn more about its mission here!
9. Melanin & Mental Health
Melanin & Mental Health is a mental health program 100% focused on connecting Black/Latinx therapists while also encouraging clients from those same communities to seek help. Besides bridging these gaps, Melanin & Mental Health provides free resources and educational opportunities for anyone interested. They also have an extensive online directory available to anyone interested and a podcast named “Between Sessions” that focuses on Black women in therapy. Check out their incredibly resourceful website here!
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