Each year, February marks Black History Month, a celebration and commemoration of the impact and contributions that Black people make to society. As it relates to an important cause that is very near and dear to us, and likely to you as well (mental health care) - this is also an opportunity to highlight Black and African American contributions to the mental health movement because they are oftentimes overlooked. This resource from Mental Health America about Black pioneers in mental health throughout history is a good starting place. You can also read our blog from last year’s Black History Month for a more information and some staggering statistics.
More recently, the events of 2020 and the #BlackLivesMatter movement have proven how the reality of racism can impact mental health, and what can be achieved if we listen, understand, support and take action to make real and lasting change. Learning about the history of systemic racism in the mental health system and how it harms Black communities in the US and around the world is important for creating better mental health everywhere.
The bottom line: Without recognizing the lack of representation of Black and African American people in the mental health movement, we do a disservice and continue to inflict harm on the Black community.
At Plymouth Psych Group, we celebrate this year’s Black History Month by not only honoring the past, but also by taking a look into the future and playing our part to ensure the Black community has access to readily available mental health support. Below is an extensive list of mental health resources. Huge thanks to the OCD and Anxiety Center of Minnesota for helping to compile some of this information.
Local Healing Spaces:
- Healing Justice Foundation is rooted in Black liberation and works to provide healing to Black people. They host virtual and in-person healing spaces and events, like art, dance, and journaling sessions, sound baths, call-in lines, meditations, journaling, and community events at George Floyd Square, in partnership with other community organizations.
- Render Free is a shared lounge and work space for self-identified Black and Brown women. They host events and feature wellness practitioners of color to support rest and healing.
- Black Girl In Om is a wellness company founded by Lauren Ash that centers the well-being of Black women, offering meditation, healing sessions, and a popular podcast. They’re currently fundraising to bring an apothecary and healing rooms to a physical space in Minneapolis.
- The African American Child Wellness Institute supports the psychological and spiritual liberation of children of African descent and their families by providing culturally specific mental health services and holistic wellness resources within an African-Centered wellness model.
National Mental Health Organizations:
- Black Mental Health Alliance: Since 1984, Black Mental Health Alliance has provided a trusted forum to lead and promote a holistic, culturally-relevant approach to the development and maintenance of whole health especially mental health programs and services for Black people and vulnerable communities.
- The Loveland Foundation operates a therapy fund to financially assist Black women and girls seeking therapy nationwide.
- Therapy for Black Girls connects Black women seeking therapy with culturally competent mental health providers, works to end the stigma around mental health care, and offers a podcast and blog
- National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network is a healing justice organization that helps queer and trans people of color connect through their online directory.
- Black Men Heal helps men of color connect with mental health treatment, psycho-education, and community resources by providing free therapy sessions.
If you are worried that you or a loved one in the Black community may be struggling with a mental health condition, there is always hope and we are here for support. Please contact us at 763-559-1640 or email email@example.com to find out how to seek help.
*This blog contains information and excerpts used from the following sources:
-Mental Health America (mhnational.org)
-OCD and Anxiety Center of Minnesota (ocdmn.com)
-NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org)