No matter the reason, we are heading in the right direction for our mental and emotional health.
Now more than ever, Black people are finding community through social media. Many once overlooked initiatives are currently at the forefront. And there are several available resources that focus specifically on people of color. Therapy For Black Girls, an online movement that connects primarily black women to licensed Black mental health professionals, is one. B.E.A.M., Black Emotional, and Mental Health Collective, offers a hub of advocates, teachers, artists, lawyers, and therapists. Psychology Today also provides their own set of Black and African American Therapists. And though there is still a shortage, it is much easier to find Black mental health professionals who are working tirelessly to dismantle the negative stigma of being Black and seeking help.
Therapy isn’t just for a crisis, it’s for life. It is critical to keep in tune with your mental health just as you would with your physical health. A check-in with your mental health even when everything is seemingly fine is not only okay, but a good thing for anyone to do. Make it a priority and value yourself with enough kindness, grace, and respect to put yourself first. The rewards will be great.
It’s impossible to pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself before you attempt to care for others. I know we live in a world where everyone we encounter requires a different version of ourselves, but each of us must take time to rejuvenate, recharge and reflect. In my training, I always stress to “put your oxygen mask on first”.
So, as we celebrate Black Mental Health Month, we also celebrate the increase in people of color recognizing their traumas and seeking help to address those traumas. We celebrate how far we have come. We celebrate our resilience, but we also celebrate our future that can be healthier and better for generations to come.