Taking care of your mental health is so important for every human being. But it's not hard to realize that the Black community needs help the most right now after recent events—the protests and calls to action after the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic that is still very much present and disproportionately affecting communities of color. Add to that, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 10% more likely to develop serious psychological distress.
If there is any kind of light in this situation, it's that there are so many wonderful mental health resources and thought leaders supporting the Black community. We've highlighted a few below. If you are BIPOC and need some extra love right now, we hope this list will help. If you're non-BIPOC, we hope you'll follow these accounts, too, as part of your education. This list certainly isn't exhaustive—please DM us with more recommendations and suggestions. We'll be updating this regularly.
Alishia McCullough started the #amplifymelanatedvoices challenge on Instagram along with Jessica Wilson, MS, RD. If you don't know what it is, it's a campaign that calls on social media users to repost and share social justice and food/body liberation content from BIPOC creators and mute white creators who share similar content from June 1 through 7. Additionally, McCullough regularly posts about the mental health and body image issues of Black women and the specific challenges they face.
A collective of advocates, yoga teachers, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, and more, BEAM has a mission to support the mental health and healing of the Black communities. The organization regularly hosts community events that include meditation, Reiki healing, and a safe space to vent. It also offers professional development and educational training for students, advocates, activists, and grassroots movements and organizations.
Donate to BEAM here.
Yoga instructor Lauren Ash founded Black Girl in Om, a wellness site, podcast, and event series catered to Black women. Its vision is stated as "a world where womxn of color are liberated, empowered and seen."
Donate to Black Girl in Om here.
Black + Well's mission as a publication is to ensure that Black voices and perspectives are heard in the wellness community.
Founded by Taraji P. Henson, The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation is committed to eradicating the stigma of mental health issues in the Black community. The foundation partners with nonprofit organizations to provide educational programs. Currently, it's offering free virtual therapy sessions, which you can register for here.
Donate to The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation here.
Ethel's Club is a membership club with a mission to provide healing spaces for people of color. It has a digital and IRL footprint (based in Brooklyn). Currently, the organization is hosting free virtual group healing sessions led by licensed Black therapists.
Donate to sponsor a membership here.
Brooklyn wellness studio and café HealHaus is an inclusive space where members can take daily yoga or meditation classes, attend workshops, and connect with other members. Because of social distancing guidelines, the club is offering live-streaming yoga and meditation sessions.
Donate to HealHaus here.
Board-certified psychiatrist Jessica Clemons, MD, has an Instagram page that is full of thought-provoking advice and question prompts to help followers look inward. One recent post was about the pressure to come out of social distancing feeling extremely accomplished and how to balance stillness and productivity.
Dietitian, consultant, and activist Jessica Wilson, MS, RD, created the #amplifymelanatedvoices challenge with Alishia McCullough. She regularly posts about the dangers of diet culture while providing other resources for healthy body image and thinking beyond intuitive eating.
Inclusive Therapists' mission is to "offer a safer, simpler way to find a culturally responsive, social justice-oriented therapist." The organization provides a therapist directory, and you can even connect with a practitioner for virtual or teletherapy.
Subscription-based meditation app Liberate is designed specifically for the BIPOC community. Members will have access to over 240 meditations, talks, and gatherings for the community. It's $10/month, or $6/month if you pay annually. There is also financial assistance available.
Donate to the Liberate fund here.
Co-founded by educator, doula, and author Erica Chidi Cohen, Loom provides a different way to look at sexual and reproductive health. The organization offers classes, services, and events all in that sphere, from period education sessions to fertility support groups to babycare basics.
Founded by Rachel Cargle, The Loveland Foundation works to make healing and therapy services accessible to Black women and girls. The organization's Loveland Therapy Fund has a goal to offer 5000 hours of free therapy sessions.
Donate to the Loveland Foundation here.
Melanin and Mental Health provides an extensive directory for people of color to find experts and clinicians. The organization also offers free resources and events. There's also a podcast, Between Sessions, featuring two therapists who are looking to "change the face of therapy" and talk about present mental health issues.
Founded by Tricia Hersey, The Nap Ministry promotes exactly what its name says: the healing and liberating power of naps (and rest, in general). The organization facilitates and curates immersive workshops and performance art to do just that.
OmNoire is a wellness social community for women of color. The organization offers events, retreats, and an online platform to connect women and help them strengthen their bodies, minds, and spirits.
Sista Afya is a Chicago-based community wellness center offering support groups, group therapy sessions, workshops, and more. The organization offers teletherapy and virtual workshops as well.
Donate to Sista Afya here.
Thalia Ayres Randolph is a Reiki master, doula, yoga instructor, and meditation and sound bath practitioner. She offers virtual workshops in addition to in-person sessions.
Therapy for Black Girls works to make mental health topics accessible to Black women. The platform helps connect women to therapists and offers a podcast as well. Women can join The Yellow Couch Collective, a membership space that gives you access to Q&A sessions with experts, priority registration for events, and the ability to connect with other community members.
Donate to Therapy for Black Girls here.
Shine is an app created by two women of color—Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi—with the mission to shift representation in mental health. Members of the app have access to meditations, personalized affirmations, and journaling prompts. Plus, you'll get the opportunity to connect with the Shine community. Currently the app is offering free resources addressing Black mental health.
This article originally appeared on The Thirty
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