Actor and entrepreneur Gabrielle Union works hard — very hard — to protect her mental health.
GABRIELLE UNION: Different weeks I need different tools. This week, I'll give you this week's, what's in this week's toolkit. I have to start my day with a mindful meditation, and YouTube has a bunch of options. For me it was finding someone's voice that I didn't find annoying, that I found soothing. And Logan Browning, who's an actress on Dear White People, she's got an amazing guided meditation. And I put that on as I'm brushing my teeth, washing my face. And I'm trying to multitask but also calm myself down.
Sometimes I listen to positive affirmations with Jose Ong. Another person I found online. I'm listening to positivity, and calming, and that's just how I have to start my day. Some of us do it, you know, when we're on the toilet because our family doesn't allow us any privacy anywhere else or time. So wherever you can find that time or that space, grab it as you can.
And I also do Zoom. Zoom, Skype, therapy sessions. This week I've had two and it's been one of those weeks. And I have zero shame about that. Some of us do once a month, or twice a month. I'm going twice a week, and it's just as needed. I strongly recommend therapy.
I started UCLA very shortly after my rape, and when I was diagnosed with PTSD. And I found the services that were provided on campus to be life saving. I literally would not be here if it wasn't for the UCLA rape crisis center and student mental health services. There are so many different initiatives these days, since the pandemic started, for low and no cost therapy. And I strongly, strongly recommend it.
And if the first one isn't a great fit, and that happens we're all just people, try another. And try another until you find someone that you feel gets you, and speaks your language, and is helpful. I think for most marginalized communities, but specifically the Black community, you have to overcome so much to get to therapy. You have to overcome the stigma.
There is a lot of negative feelings about head shrinkers, or having to go talk to someone about your problems. Like it's a sign of weakness, or that you're somehow deficient. So you have to overcome that part that is just societal within our communities. But then there's the cost. For all of our families who don't have insurance, or therapy is not covered by the insurance that they do have. We lack the re-- the collective resources as marginalized communities to pay for therapy.