Even though May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Black women need to know that their mental health matters — every damn day. Erica Richard, chair and medical director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Sibley Memorial Hospital shares, “Women are at least twice as likely to experience an episode of major depression as men. And, compared to their Caucasian counterparts, African-American women are only half as likely to seek help.” The “strong Black woman” trope can leave many Black women feeling that needing help or places of vulnerability will make them weak.
It is the exact opposite. When you take care of yourself, it better positions you to take care of others. Women, who are often the caretakers in their families, tend to put everyone first, but themselves. This self-sacrificial behavior needs to stop. In addition to getting a good nights sleep, exercise, eating well, and setting healthy boundaries—it’s imperative to take care of our mental health. As a Black woman, you may want to seek professional help from an individual that looks like you; however, that’s not always possible. Women of color make up less than 5 percent of social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists in the industry. To increase your chances of having someone that looks like you, seek help or assistance from organizations that are created specifically to support Black women and our mental health.
Not sure where to start? We’ve done the research for you. Check out 5 organizations that are here to support you and your well-being.
The Loveland Foundation
Therapy For Black Girls
Black Mental Health Alliance
The Okra Project
Black Girls Smile, Inc.