Right now, our society is experiencing a major shift. While this process is painful and beyond what we could have imagined, it is necessary. We, as a people, needed to wake up and start DOING, CONTRIBUTING, and STANDING UP for social equality.
On May 25th, officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, a black man, while three other officers on the scene failed to intervene and save his life. Unfortunately, this is not a new or even shocking story, as black and brown American citizens have taken the brunt of police brutality since...forever.
The murder incited a worldwide outcry for justice to be served for Floyd and the countless amount of other black and brown victims of police brutality, white supremacy and overall racism.
As people have been taking the streets in droves for peaceful protests, numerous brands have stepped up to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
This was the change that needed to happen— to be awoken and take action for the betterment of our society as whole.
While we are in the depths of the shift, we understand that these overwhelming circumstances have the ability to pose as a serious threats to our mental health. We believe that mental wellness is key to maintaining a healthy society that can continue the good fight. You may be feeling some of the following:
Grief - the haunting pleas of George Floyd and the careless murders of Blacks may have you feeling really low. This feeling could be recent or a buildup from the numerous circumstances similar to this one. This feeling is normal and its best to discuss it with others you feel safe with to get through it.
Overwhelmed/Hopelessness - 2020 has been a complete tornado. From the COVID19 pandemic to the injustices we are seeing being shared all over the internet. Social media, specifically, has been a great tool for sharing what the news won't, but sometimes, the content is graphic, traumatic and triggering. Take a break from social media for a bit.
Confusion - You may want to help, but don't know how to exactly. There's been a lot of messaging circulating about how you can help, from marching in the streets for peaceful protest, to donating and more. We encourage you to contribute by doing what you can.
Distancing Yourself - Black and brown individuals may feel inclined to distance yourself from white friends because you feel they don't understand and vice versa—white friends may feel like you don't know what to say or do, and cope by distancing. We simply suggest to remain kind and peaceful whether you decide to distance yourself or decide to be an ally.
Anger/Rage - You might be feeling extremely angry about the injustices going on right now. Remember, these are emotions and it's important for us try and act logically.
Desire to Escape - This feeling can be inevitable with the world we live in today. It may seem like everywhere you look, there is turmoil. This feeling is valid, but remember it won't be forever. Try to take a break from the screens and ground yourself with meditation, a book, or connecting with nature, if you can.
Here are some mental wellness organizations and sites that have pivoted their focus to those who are feeling low or struggling with our current climate.
Therapy for Black Men provides a space where men and boys of color can seek mental health support through guidance and professionals while stripping away the stigmatization associated with men of color regarding therapy within their communities. Not only does it help connect people with therapists, but also provides resources and creates a community around mental health.
The Black Mental Health Alliance promotes and develops culturally-relevant educational forums, training, and referral services to support the health and well-being of Black people and other vulnerable communities. They are based out of Baltimore and offer workshops and forums while connecting the community to one another.
Therapy for Black Girls is committed to helping black women feel understood and heard. They offer services that allow women to connect with therapists, create a community of other women, and deep-dive into uncomfortable topics.
Melanin and Mental Health offers a space where members of the Black and Latinx community can go to listen to podcasts on mental health between members and therapists of the community. They also help connect people with therapists and hold monthly events.
Sad Girls Club is a non-profit online and in-person community run by women of color who are committed to removing the negative stigma around mental health, while providing services to girls who don’t have access to therapy.
Heal Haus provides daily yoga and meditation livestreams intending to provide an inclusive space for diverse healing. Based out of Brooklyn, they are committed to building a community that is dedicated to changing the stigma attached to healing.
Dr Jess Clemond, MD is a Board Certified Psychiatrist who works one on one with clients, while using her online platforms to fight against the stigma surrounding mental health, especially within the black community.
They are social justice-oriented professionals that are boldly: anti-discrimination, anti-oppression, anti-stigma, anti-racist & anti-ablest.They help connect people with therapists and aim to reduce the challenges that marginalized populations face when treating mental health.
UpHold facilitates groups and workshops on mental health with the mission of changing the world’s view of mental health by offering training, advocacy, panel discussion and work-groups. They also host GoodFellaz Project that gives Black men a space to vent about their frustrations in life.
This is a book written by psychiatrist, Rheeda Walker, PHD that explores Black mental health in today’s world, the forces that have undermined mental health progress for African Americans, and how to navigate a mental health care system that is unequal.
Ethel’s Club is a special and wellness club, based out of Brooklyn, NY, with the intention of connecting and celebrating people of color, both online and in real life.
Sista Afya is a low-cost community that connects Black women to a community of support, group and individual therapy groups and workshops to foster healing, growth, freedom, and self-actualization. They are based out of Chicago, but are currently holding online sessions.
Dive in Well has created a community where minorities can come together to have conversations to help change the wellness industry and to become more equitable and accessible for all. Their mission is to create a more inclusive industry by providing people with more opportunities and a greater network of people.
National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network is a healing justice organization committed to transforming mental health for queer and trans people of color. Their overall goal is to increase access to healing justice resources for queer and trans people of color.
Project Let’s has built a collective to help queer and trans people of color build a community of peer support, and offers online programs and resources for support and recovery.
Communicate for Health Justice is a youth-driven, health communications platform, mixing communication, health equity and social justice elements into healthcare editorial content. They hold webinars, podcasts, and release resources to help people within the community.
The Loveland Foundation works to make mental health care more accessible for Black women and girls. It does this by partnering with various mental health resources to offer financial assistance to Black women and girls across the nation who are trying to access therapy. They also hold panels with Black professionals and post meditations.