Black mental health revised
It’s Black History Month, a time to celebrate our culture and to gain more awareness of our needs. One thing we need to address is mental health within the African American community. Image holds significant importance within our community, instilled in us from a young age to excel, dress impeccably, maintain a stylish and polished appearance and always project strength. further more we are taught to be leary of others and to expect possible harm as a survival skills. We’ve cultivated resilience and defensiveness as coping mechanisms against a myriad of intense stressors. While these traits have helped us survive, they can also hinder our willingness to seek the support and help we deserve.
There’s a prevailing notion that we must always project strength and never show vulnerability.
The resilience we have had to develop has been crucial, but it can also hinder us from seeking the help and support we rightfully deserve. The notion that we must always exude strength, never revealing vulnerability, only limits us from experiencing the best in life.
Considering the trials we’ve faced, it’s only natural to experience moments of rage, sadness, hopelessness or fatigue. The wonderful thing about therapy is that you do not have to show up with your public image and your game face on. You only need to show up as you are. Therapy provides a safe space to lower your guard. In therapy, there’s no need to maintain a façade. No one has to know because therapy is a private matter between you and your therapist. There’s no shame in prioritizing self-care – in fact, it is a testament to strength. Taking care of your mental health is a powerful act, acknowledging that everyone, regardless of their outer strength, deserves and benefits from support. There are affordable ways to get therapy that include community mental health centers and organizations such as Open Path- who links people with therapists offering reduced rates, if you qualify openpathcollective.com. There are also a number of Black therapists, if you prefer.