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Why Racism Is a Public Health Issue & What You Can Do to Help

The Black community represents 13.4% of the American population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Of those, over 16% reported having a mental illness in the past year — that is over 7 million people. For some perspective, Black adults in the U.S. are 20% more likely to report serious psychological distress than white adults. Yet, only 30% of African American adults with mental illness receive treatment each year, compared to the U.S. average of 43%. Top barriers that prevent African Americans from seeking treatment and receiving quality care are racism, racial trauma, and socioeconomic factors, which limit access to treatment options.

In other words, “Racism is a public health crisis,” as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recently stated. 

There are a number of resources, organizations, and companies dedicated to supporting Black people’s mental health. Here are a few that could be useful to you, your friends, family, and colleagues.

Mental Health Resources For the Black Community: 

Therapy for Black Girls

Therapy for Black Girls is a platform that helps Black women and girls find trusted and competent in-person or virtual therapists. Founder Dr. Joy Harden Bradford also hosts a podcast called Therapy for Black Girls, which features Q & A’s with experts on a variety of mental health issues. Therapy for Black Girls also has an online community called The Yellow Couch Collective that young professionals can join to connect with other Black Women in the community and gain expert advice from the podcast. Support its mission of advocating for Black female mental health by donating here as well as supporting the brand’s shop

Inclusive Therapists

 

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In my best Mariah 🎶 I… don’t want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need! . 👉🏼 Quality, affordable mental health care that honors people of all identities, abilities and bodies. That shouldn’t be too much to ask! But it won’t happen by us simply wishing. To each therapist that is a part of this movement with us, thank you. You are a gift! 🎁 I’m excited to reveal the exciting offerings and advocacy work that 2020 holds. Until then: Blessings on this fourth Night of Chanukah. 🕎✨ . Remembering the principle of Umoja (unity) as Kwanzaa kicks off tomorrow. 🖤❤️💚 . Wishing you all a connective, restorative holiday season. Love, @melodyhopeli and the Inclusive Therapists team . ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️ This is the last week of our soft launch. If you’ve been following along and are considering a membership, now’s the time. Right now, first 3 months is FREE + deep discounts. Economic equity is important to us so check out ways to get a free membership – link in profile. We offer way more than a directory listing. We also take care of our therapist community because healers need support too! Members-only features include: – private, uplifting online community – professional resources centering social justice and liberation – events calendar – mental health job board – community blog – marketing tools Coming in 2020: – CEU workshops & trainings – collaborative podcast – joint advocacy work to increase justice and equity in our field – and more! Join our movement 💖

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Inclusive Therapists serves as a directory that matches clients with professional care. As the name suggests, the platform prioritizes inclusion with a focus on understanding the specific struggles that face marginalized populations, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, the LGBTQ+ community, neurodivergent folx, and people with disabilities. In addition, the community-based online space offers workshops and training with learning series on topics like tending to racial trauma during crisis. Participants can receive a certificate for their own therapy practice upon completing the course. To support Inclusive Therapists for their free work, you can sponsor a therapist’s membership or learner’s training with installments of just $10. These donations go directly towards training for mental health counseling, community help, as well as individual support to its BIPOC and minority-identified therapists.

The Nap Ministry

The Nap Ministry is an organization that examines the liberating power of rest, advocating for rest as a form of resistance against burnout culture and capitalism more broadly. Black Americans “have never really had our place in capitalism,” other than as its engine, since slavery, says founder Tricia Hersey. Through the Nap Ministry, Hersey guides Atlanta-based sessions of “rest coaching” and now offers virtual workshops as well.

Sista Afya

Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness focuses on sustaining the mental wellness of Black women in four ways: education, resource connection, community support, and its online shop. The company’s merchandise includes helpful journals, educational books, and encouraging cards. The money spent is donated back into the organization. In addition to therapy and teletherapy with customized payment plans, Sista Afya offers access to community-based workshops and events in the Chicago area. Over the past three years, the company has reached and impacted over 700 young Black women in Chicago through therapeutic services, social events, and wellness experiences. Support the company’s mission by donating here.

National Queer and Trans Therapist of Color Network 

 

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How do you define #HealingJustice Check out our definition and share yours in the comments or post! Make sure to tag us! [Image descriptions: 4 graphics blue/green textured background with white box and text with gray letters. First image – Healing Justice is… a political and spiritual framework rooted in disability justice, environmental justice, reproductive justice, and abolitionist movements, as well as the ancestral traditions and practices of people of color, poor people, people with disabilities, women, femmes, and queer and trans people. Second image: Healing Justice recognizes the ways historical trauma and structural violence have caused harm, grief, crisis, trauma and further cycles of violence for oppressed peoples. Third image – Healing justice honors our inherent ability to heal and the specific legacy of resistance and resilience of queer and trans people of color. It requires that we constantly re-imagine what is possible regarding our healing, safety, sustainability and fortification. Fourth image – How do you define healing justice?] #NQTTCN #HealingJustice #QTPOC

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National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) is a healing justice organization committed to transforming mental health for queer and trans people of color (QTPoC) in North America. They work at the intersection of social justice movements and mental health to integrate healing justice into both spaces. Their overall goal is to increase access to healing justice resources for QTPoC and transform mental health for the community. Their Mental Health Fund (MFH) provides financial assistance to queer and trans people of color to increase access to mental health support for and by QTPoC. Learn more about how you can get involved here.

The Unplug Collective

Unplug, at its core, is a place where Black and Brown womxn and non-binary folks can share their stories about existing in their bodies without being silenced or censored,” reads the website. A virtual safe space, a digital healing circle, a rising fashion magazine, Unplug seeks to increase representation among marginalized voices through editorial photoshoots, video shoots, op-eds, and submissions from the public. The community also offers free group therapy and discounted individual therapy.

Beam Collective

BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health) Collective is a training, movement-building, and grant-making organization dedicated to the healing, wellness, and liberation of Black and marginalized communities. The non-profit focuses on professional development and educational training for students, advocates, activists,  grassroots movements, and organizations. The training equips participants with 101 knowledge around mental health issues, myths, and challenges in Black communities and provides participants with tools to offer informed healing justice peer support.

Black Girl in Om

 

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BGIO was born to elevate the inner work first. We are so proud to have influenced a movement and cultivated a culture that now *needs* to see the whole of us, today and beyond.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ We’re thrilled to introduce a new experience to you starting this month — one intended to connect the dots between healing and wholeness.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ This Wednesday, April 15th, registration opens for The Circle, our digital sister circle. Join us for this brand new, incredibly intentional five week experience. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ We acknowledge that this is also a time of financial uncertainty for many. Our team will provide a select number of community scholarships for those currently facing challenges and welcome generosity from those who are able to help support this initiative.⁣ ⁣⁣ So, watchya waiting on? 🤍 Click our bio link to join our newsletter, to support, or to press play on our latest guided meditation for black girls everywhere. #YouDeserve⁣⁣ #BGIOTheCircle ⁣⁣ Photo by Taylor. S. Hunter (@goldentimetay)

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Founded by Lauren Ash, Black Girl In Om is a global, community-based platform that provides “a space for women of color to breathe easy.” The platform is offering holistic wellness workshops largely based around journaling, mind-clearing meditation, and body-restoring yoga. Recently, Ash launched BGIO’s new digital sister initiative called The Circle, which further supports its global community of Black women and women of color. To invest in the mission, you can give support here.

Dive in Well

Dive In Well began as a dinner series but has now become a movement that is actively working to diversify the space of mental health awareness through several hands-on practices. The Pool, its ongoing series of online workshops and in-person Free Swim classes (currently online due to COVID), are donation-based conversations taught by its community members. You can gain access to their complimentary e-books on diversity and allyship by donating to their Ifundwomen campaign here.

Ethel’s Club

Based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Ethel’s Club is a social and wellness hub that offers working, gathering, and performance spaces designed specifically with people of color in mind. While they had to temporarily close its brick-and-mortar location due to the pandemic, founder Naj Austin has transitioned their community online to help its members get through this particularly difficult time. Ethel’s Club has been offering free virtual gatherings, performances, and healing sessions. Support their work here.

Harriet’s Apothecary

 

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The Movement For Black Lives, and organizers mobilizing across the country, invite you to rise up with us and say no more! We are calling for a week of action June 1st to 5th In Defense of Black Lives. This is an opportunity to uplift and fight alongside those turning up in the streets and on the airwaves. Today we prepare for the week ahead by intentionally grounding ourselves and fortifying our spirits for the protracted struggle. Today we make space for collective mourning and resilience as we get in touch with what is required of us in this moment. Mobilize in solidarity with activists and organizers across the country and world saying enough is enough. Change your social media profile pictures to the image below this week to show that you are committed to being in defense of Black lives. #DefundPolice #DefendBlackLife #Repost @mvmnt4blklives ・・・

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Harriet’s Apothecary is a “healing village led by Black Cis Women, Queer & Trans healers, artists, activists & ancestors, centering the genius of Black, Indigenous & POC folk.” They are currently offering a handful of resources, including support groups, AMAs, healing circles, a storytime series, and more.

Healhaus

HealHaus is a Brooklyn-based membership healing space that was created by founders Darian Hall and Elisa Shankle to provide accessible and inclusive wellness to their community. They offer virtual wellness retreats, sound baths, and healing groups. While closed physically, they are offering free virtual events via Zoom and private sessions across a variety of disciplines, like astrology, tarot, energy healing, coaching, or holistic medicine.

Funds That You Can Donate To Now:

The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness COVID-19 Women’s Relief Fund

“The COVID-19 Relief Fund for Black Women and Families will provide mini-grants to women to meet their family’s immediate needs for food, housing, childcare, toiletries, medication, healthcare-related costs, or other critical expenses,” says the foundation’s website. The application requires a fairly short survey, and you will be granted funds based on verification of the request, the need expressed in your complete application, and the availability of funds.

Black Earth Farm Foods Donations

 

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all power to the people! spread the word! venmo: @blackearthfarms cash app: $blackearth

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Black Earth Farms in the East Bay of San Francisco is now accepting donations via its Venmo account to deliver boxes of fresh, free food to Black people who have been arrested, bailed, traumatized, or injured. The farm will also donate to members of the Black community who are responsible for organizing funds for those awaiting bail and protestors who need medical attention. Direct message Black Earth Farms on Instagram for more information.

The Loveland Foundation

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#repost Head to the link in @rachel.cargle bio to RSVP. • Thinking about what our ancestors and past leaders left for us. What tools and direction and foresight they offered. • When James Baldwin reminded us: “It is a very peculiar revolution because, in order to succeed at all, it has to have as its aim the reestablishment of the Union. And a great, radical shift in American mores, in the American way of life. Not only does it apply to the Negro, obviously, but it applies to every citizen in the country. This is a very tall order and desperately dangerous, but inevitable in my view because of the nature of the American Negro’s relationship to the rest of the country, of all these generations, and the attitudes the country’s had toward him, which always was, but now has become overtly and concretely, intolerable. • When Malcolm X made clear: “Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.” • When Fannie Lou Hammer started: “There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement — three people is better than no people” • When Nikki Giovanni explained: “We put our lives on the line because we understand that our lives were always on the line.” • When Angela Davis said, ““I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” • @rachel.cargle will be giving a Public Address on Revolution this upcoming Saturday evening. If you’d be interested in hearing her words and her teachings please use the link in her bio to RSVP and you’ll receive the viewing details Saturday afternoon. • This live address will include Rachel’s official response to the brutality happening to black bodies in the US. she will be pulling from the words of revolutionaries before us. She will be offering resources for action and highlighting the movement on the ground so that we all can show up in revolutionary ways. • looking forward to being in conversation and community with you all. • TL:DR – the revolution is coming, RSVP link in bio. • Will We see you there? • #revolutionnow

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Founded in 2018 by Rachel Cargle, The Loveland Foundation supports Black females looking for therapy as well as provides financial assistance through donations. Its goal for 2020 is to provide 1,000 Black women and girls with 4-8 covered therapy sessions. According to the org’s site, if 6 people donate $20 it would cover one therapy session so donate here.

The Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund and the Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund 

The Okra Project, a New York City organization, has launched mental health funds in honor of both Tony McDade and Nina Pop, which will purchase therapy sessions with licensed Black practitioners for trans people. The Tony Dade Mental Health Recovery Fund will benefit trans men and the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund benefits trans women (Okra Project encourages anyone who identifies “under the Transgender umbrella” to apply to the fund which most aligns with their identity). They’ve contributed $15,00 to each fund and are asking community members to match their totals. People can also donate sessions with their own Black, licensed therapists. Donate to both funds here, and apply for sessions at the hyperlinks for each fund above.

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Whichever way you choose to grieve, process, or take action, know that you are not alone right now. You and your mental health matter. If you have any suggestions or resources you want to share, drop us a line.