12 Mental Health and Wellness Resources Meant For the Black Community
Within the past year, many innocent Black lives have been taken as a result of police brutality and racial violence. Whether it was Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, or George Floyd, none of these victims and their families have gotten full justice—and these are just the names that have received some amount of media attention.
Everyone in the country should be feeling angry, sad and upset at this injustice—if you aren't, you aren't paying attention. But there's no doubt that the weight of the world is heaviest for Black people during those times. Not to mention, all of this has been taking place in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is also still disproportionately affecting Black and Brown people. This is why it's important for Black people to find ways to preserve their energy and take time for meaningful self-care and mental health practices.
Reign x Shine, a luxury wellness brand created with Black women in mind, recently shared an Instagram post with five self-care tips for Black people who are feeling overwhelmed. In the post's graphic, the brand provided tips for Black people to set firm boundaries, indulge in Black creativity, be mindful about social media use, feel intently, and connect with other Black people. See the full post below.
The caption, a quote by Audre Lorde, encapsulates exactly why self-care matters so much: "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it's self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." But self-care isn't something that has to be done alone, and there are resources out there to make mental health and wellness practices more accessible. Below is a list of those resources designed with Black people in mind.
12 mental health and wellness resources for Black people:
1. The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation
Taraji P. Henson's organization, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation is centered on Black mental health, and it's offering free therapy through a COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Support campaign until funds run out. You can register for the free virtual therapy here. Non-Black people can help keep the campaign going by donating to the fund here.
2. Sista Afya
Sista Afya is a Chicago-based organization dedicated to providing low-cost mental wellness services to Black women, with a focus on community support. Check out the site to access mental wellness resources, a list of recommended therapy providers, book a teletherapy session, or register for the next Sister Support Group session for February 11th.
3. Therapy For Black Girls
Therapy For Black Girls is exactly what it sounds like: An online space where Black women and girls can find racially informed therapy providers and access information on a range of mental health topics. The brand also has a podcast available online with over 150 episodes featuring conversations on mental health and personal development for Black women and girls.
4. The Loveland Foundation
The Loveland Foundation is an organization that was established by Rachel Cargle in 2018 to serve Black women and girls through fellowships, residency programs, listening tours, and more. The foundation also has a Loveland Therapy Fund to provide financial assistance for Black women and girls seeking therapy across the country. Apply for financial support here. Plus, non-Black people or businesses can donate to the fund here to ensure more Black women and girls can access therapy support.
HealHaus is a Black-owned wellness space in Brooklyn prioritizing the healing and overall well-being of BIPOC through yoga, meditation, workshops, and other wellness practices. The shop is currently closed due to the pandemic, but they're offering live-streamed classes and workshops that each have a specific focus, like breathwork for trauma or tarot for relationships.
6. National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network
National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network is a healing justice organization dedicated to increasing access to mental health resources for queer and trans people of color. The website offers an interactive directory to connect QTPoC with QTPoC mental health practitioners. You can access the directory here.
7. Healing While Black
Healing While Black is a social platform run by Josh Odam, a Black and queer aspiring social worker and suicide survivor from New York. The platform is dedicated to curating a place for radical softness for Black people and uplifting Black and queer mental health. You can follow Odam's work on Instagram and Twitter and become a patron here.
8. Ethel’s Club
Ethel's Club is a digital membership club and social space designed to give people of color a place to both heal and thrive. Joining the membership, which has a monthly fee of $16.99, gives access to classes, workshops, wellness sessions, book clubs, writing groups, design clubs, and other ways to connect with club members around the world. Sign up for a digital membership here.
Zimbabwean art director Sinikiwe Dhliwayo is the founder of Naaya, a Black-owned wellness space that offers race and trauma-informed classes and workshops. Naaya's mission is to redefine wellness so that it centers BIPOC folks and is not synonymous with whiteness, affluence, and able-bodies. Upcoming classes include a conversation on how the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated racism and xenophobia, and a workshop on self-love and redefining masculinity for men of color. Find and sign up for digital classes here.
10. Black Mental Health
Black Mental Health is a mental health corporation that was founded by four Black women clinical psychologists. They provided resources about treatments, when to seek urgent mental health treatment, and more.
Known as a social wellness community for Black womxn and womxn of color, OMNoire has a mission to "connect like-minded women through our events, retreats and online platform to cultivate strength, growth and positive manifestation in all areas of our lives." While the pandemic has put a pause on live retreats and events, there's a free online community you can join called Breathe. tribe, where they bring virtual wellness events straight to your computer screen.
12. Sad Girls Club
If you're looking to connect with fellow women who have mental illnesses, join the non-profit organization, Sad Girls Club. The organization's goal is to reduce mental health stigma by connecting BIPOC millennial and Gen Z women and providing information on mental health services. Plus, they have must-buy merchandise for you to enjoy.