In February we celebrate Black History Month together. In addition to honoring all of the women and men whose extraordinary contributions to our nation’s history are still being felt today, we wanted to highlight some of today’s African-American advocates and projects advancing the conversation about mental health, breaking down the stigma faced by their communities, and helping African-Americans to access recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, and culturally competent mental health care.
- An Open Letter to Black Women about Mental Health (The Huffington Post): “I want you to know that it is OK to struggle; it is OK for you to not have it all together, it is OK for you to feel weak and it is OK for you to admit to the universe that you can’t do life on your own.” — Minaa B
- Black Mental Health isn’t the Same as White Mental Health (BigThink): “When you talk about mental illness in the black community, I think you have to begin with the experience of trauma and how trauma continues to abound in their experiences in their daily lives.” — Dr. Michael Lindsey, mental health researcher and associate professor at the Silver School of Social Work at NYU
- On Black Men and Mental Health (The Root): “As a community, we have to recognize that by not seeking help, we are truly only hurting ourselves. We should not be ashamed to talk about mental health because our community as a whole is dealing with some of the most difficult issues. We as black men have led difficult lives. We as black people have led difficult lives.”
- Black Girl + Mental Health: Black Girl + Mental Health was started to be a “dropbox” of sorts for all information regarding the intersection between black identity and mental health. Created by writer Diamond J. Sharp.
- Ourselves, Black: Our mission is to empower the Black community by promoting mental health. This website is a place where you can find information regarding mental health issues from our articles and videos, join a conversation or read about others’ experiences in our forum, and use the links and referral sources to find resources for you, your family and members of your community. It was started by a black psychiatrist, and is the first of its kind.
- Respect Your Struggle: Respect Your Struggle was birthed back in 2014 as a creative outlet and open forum to cultivate conversations around mental health and to de-stigmatize the subject within minority communities. Created by mental health advocate and social worker Minaa B.
- The Siwe Project: A global non-profit dedicated to promoting mental health awareness throughout the global black community. The goal of the organization is to widen the public dialogue regarding the lived experiences of people of African Descent with mental illness. By providing opportunities for dialogue and the uplifting of new narratives and discourse, The Siwe Project aims to encourage more people to seek treatment without shame.
- Black Men Speak: The mission of Black Men Speak is to inform and enlighten the mental health community and the general public about issues concerning African American males with mental health and substance abuse challenges through a speakers bureau.
- Pool of Consumer Champions African-American Empowerment Committee: Promotes, educates, and informs the African American community on wellness and recovery through sharing lived experience and using history to support the African American community in making positive choices.
- Therapists of Color Referral Share: A database of SF Bay Area Psychotherapists of Color.
Building a referral resource to help connect our communities to healing and mental health support.