20 Resources & Support for Black Mental Health
Today, October 10th is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as World Mental Health day. This year’s (2021) initiative is Mental Health for all and making this a reality. For our community, limited access is not our only issue. Mental Health is still a taboo subject because of the stigma. It starts with education. The biggest misconception is believing that mental health and mental illness are synonymous. We all have mental health but if left untreated it may develop into mental illness. P.s. Never self-diagnosis! Mental illness have been defined as a sign of weakness or as damaged goods so to speak. If you only view mental illness at its worst case scenario you may never seek it up. It means breaking our code of survival of so many centuries which was to always be strong. But the truth is, mental health is more like your physical health. If you ignore the warnings signs long enough you will have a much bigger problem or disease that needs to be treated. Mental illness is not a sign of weakness.
Because of the black mental health is America is no wonder there is such a lack of trust in the medical system. You can read a detailed history summary from 1700-2019 by Dr. Uchenna Umeh. It was truly horrific. We cannot change the past but what we do know is, right now mental health services is needed today in our community. Studies is now showing that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for black youth (ages 10-14); 3rd leading cause for ages 15-19 and it is twice as likely for a black youth 12 and under to commit suicide than their white peers. These are gut wrenching numbers.
With such a serious matter, it’s no wonder we want to be in spaces that we feel safe heard and seen. We need professionals who are more relatable to our daily experiences but only 4% of these professionals are black/African American. Then unfortunately, economic status plays another huge role in who seeks out and receive professional help. As of 2020, 19.5% of African Americans are living below poverty rate with 11% without any form of medical insurance. This issue that is causes and advances mental health struggles. Though so many factors are working against us there is help available. Any help is better than none at all.
Here are a list of Mental Health support services and organizations. Some may provide free therapy services
An online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. This is where I personally found my therapist. This platform connects you to black therapists in your area.
Similar to therapy for black girls, this is platform is a directory of black therapists (male & female). Black men are less likely to seek out help and have the highest suicide rate between ages of 20-24 of African Americans in all ages.
Provide access to mental health treatment, psycho-education, and community resources to men of color. They also provide free therapy sessions.
BEAM’s mission is to remove the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing. We do this through education, training, advocacy and the creative arts.
Provide educational forums, trainings and referral services that support the health and well-being of Black people and their communities.
Provide access to evidence-based information and resources about mental health and behavioral health topics from a Black perspective.
Founded by Taraji P. Henson, this foundation is focused on eradicating mental health issues in the black community. Their programs provide free virtual therapy session and virtual group therapy for young girls and mental health college scholarships.
Founded by the brothers of Omega Psi Phi fraternity to provide resources and tools for black men and their families who are dealing with depression and stress.
Ebony magazine’s list of black owned and mental health focused services.
Provide Teletherapy focusing on black and other minority communities.
Promoting and advocating for culturally competent clinicians, while raising awareness about how mental health affects minorities.
Provide relevant, current, and engaging mental health content and stories specifically routed in communities of color.
Free online reading and resources to promote self care, mental health care and healing of people of color within the activist community.
Provides low-cost mental wellness services that center the experiences of Black women. They also provide community support.
Organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young students of color who are failing academically and suffering academically.
Provide financial assistance to black women and girls for therapy services
Mission is to bring healing to communities of color by changing the face and feel of therapy.
Provide support and resources for people who self-identify as being of African ancestry and who are experiencing racial stress, anxiety, and/or trauma.
Provide support for addiction in the black community
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273 8255