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Many across the country were able to exhale a sigh of relief as the verdict came down in the Derek Chauvin trial. The officer was found guilty of George Floyd's murder and guilty on all three charges brought against him.
Still, the trauma remains from the racist killings of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo as well as Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, and so many others. No trial verdict can restore the lives lost.
What's more, continuous exposure to violence via media and news reports can and does take a serious toll on mental health—especially for Black people. It amplifies the collective unease and distress felt in Black communities around the country, resulting in stress, increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension, migraines, sleeplessness, and feelings of sadness, anger, fear, and hopelessness, Candice Hargons, PhD, director of the Center for Healing Racial Trauma, previously told Women's Health.
Not to mention the fact that the COVID-19 (which has had a disproportionate impact on Black communities) has also led to increased anxiousness and uncertainty nationwide.
It's also worth noting that only 30 percent of African Americans with mental illness receive treatment due to socioeconomic issues (the national average is 43 percent), according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Though it's just a start, these businesses and organizations are offering free or low-cost mental health resources for the Black community during this time of heightened trauma and need.
Black Journalists' Therapy Relief Fund
Sonia Weiser founded the Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund (BJTRF) in May 2020 in response to protests and calls for racial justice in the U.S. The organization provides assistance for Black journalists facing financial hardship who are unable to pay for the mental health support they need during this time. Journalists in need of support can apply here.
The BJTRF partnered with the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) to expand support of Black journalists of all genders, ages, experience levels, and backgrounds. It is currently accepting donations for the program.
Therapy for Black Girls
Founded by licensed psychologist Joy Harden Bradford, Therapy for Black Girls strives to work to remove the stigma of seeking mental health care and helps Black women find culturally competent therapists (pricing varies by provider). Dr. Bradford shares free mental wellness resources in live chats on Instagram and Facebook on Thursdays as well as via her popular podcast.
Therapy for Black Girls also offers the Yellow Couch Collective ($9.99 per month or $99 annually) and members get access to Deep Dives on timely topics, Q&A sessions with experts, and the ability to connect with the community. Currently, the first month is free and all you have to do to join is create an account with your name, email, and password.
The Loveland Foundation
Rachel Cargle's The Loveland Foundation is committed to supporting and empowering communities of color, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. It offers a Loveland Therapy Fund to help remove barriers to treatment for members of diverse ethnic and racial groups. It provides financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy. To apply, fill out this online form and wait for confirmation before attending your first appointment.
The Loveland Foundation is currently raising money for its next cohort. In its pilot program, the foundation raised over $250,000, and paid for hundreds of girls and women to see therapists with Therapy for Black Girls, Open Path Collective, National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network, and Talkspace.
The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation
The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which actress Taraji P. Henson founded to honor her Vietnam War veteran father in 2018, offered free virtual therapy for up to five sessions to BIPOC in 2020. Now, the organization offers free group therapy for teens and young adults. Fill out this online form to register and find one in your state.
The nonprofit's vision is to eradicate the stigma around mental health in the Black community by providing support and bringing awareness to mental health issues.
The nonprofit's vision is to eradicate the stigma around mental health in the black community by providing support and bringing awareness to mental health issues.
Austin-based therapist Melody Li's network promises "care from a therapist who gets you." The directory only includes therapists whose "life and practice are social justice-oriented." There is a dedicated section for reduced-fee teletherapy so finances don't have to be an obstacle to care. You can filter therapists by price and location, and get their contact information to schedule a session or fill out your information online and get matched with a provider (lower-cost services available).
The network is also adding more Black and indigenous providers to keep up with demand by offering sponsored memberships.
Based in Chicago and founded by Camesha Jones, Sista Afya is currently offering teletherapy only to Illinois residents. The group offers both free therapy and therapy on a sliding scale for those who qualify. Sister Support Groups ($10) and Workshops also cover timely topics in a caring community environment. (If you'd like to participate and can't afford the registration fee, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.) The online chats cover timely topics and provide actionable tips. You can register for therapy sessions and Sister Support Groups here.
This New York City-based digital community is "designed to help people of color thrive." Members have access to a full calendar of events, live streamed classes and salons, and more. Click here to join for a $16.99 monthly fee and try it free for one week. Ethel's Club also offers free healing and grieving group sessions for the Black community. It's in high demand, so you can get on the waitlist to join upcoming sessions here.
HealHaus is a wellness space and cafe in Brooklyn, but it also offers live virtual workshops daily (like Breathwork with Thérèse Cator, Founder of Black Girls Breathe), as well as meditation classes and one-on-one teletherapy sessions. Some sessions are donation-based and others start at $10 for a drop-in class or $30 for monthly memberships. Right now, HealHaus is accepting donations for a therapy fund to offer free individual talk therapy sessions to members of the BIPOC community. HealHaus newcomers can also try an unlimited number of classes for seven days by signing up for a trial membership here.
Black Men Heal
For your brother, friend, or SO, Black Men Heal provides access to mental health treatment, psycho-education, and community resources. Free mental health services with a provider of color are available to those who qualify through a donation fund. So far, the organization has provided 600 free therapy sessions.
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