In the past few months, we’ve highlighted mental health resources and free therapy options to help you navigate these overwhelming times. While we quarantine, social-distance, protest or all of the above, many in-person therapy spaces have begun to shift to virtual services so you can continue to practice self-care and find an outlet to work on your mental health right at home.
Real previously launched Real to the People to help individuals cope with the growing COVID-19 pandemic. After noticing a need for these virtual services for BIPOC, the therapy startup expanded its initiative to include free weekly group sessions specifically for Black women, people of color and allies of all backgrounds and identities to let them vent, connect and grieve about everything that’s currently happening in the world.
“Our goal for all of Real is to build care that helps people most effectively and to provide care that reaches individuals beyond those who today’s therapy model speaks to," Ariela Safira, Founder and CEO of Real, tells us. “In the case of Real to the People, that means doing so during times of crisis and gathering learnings and feedback on what care is effective, and what care people want to be a part of during such heightened times.”
While research shows there’s a lack of representation when it comes to Black and Brown therapists, Real will have counselors of color lead each session. Safira believes that including therapists of color may help BIPOC individuals feel safe to share their experiences with people that directly understand how they’ve been feeling.
“The Black community has been facing racial injustice and police brutality for far too long and have also been disproportionately affected by the current pandemic,” Safira says. “We needed to create a dedicated space for Black womxn and people of color to grieve and process everything that is happening in an environment they feel safe in. For allies, it’s important to provide a supportive space to discuss mental health at this time, and techniques for personal growth toward becoming anti-racist and understanding trauma.”
Support sessions in the month of June include Real Stories, Real Pain: Free Group Therapy for Black Womxn, Real x UnPlug Collective: Free Group Therapy for Young Black Womxn + Gender-Expansive People, Real Stories, Real Pain: Free Group Therapy for People of Color and Growth and Allyship: Free Group Therapy for Allies.
The best part? Each session is completely free and open to anyone. Check out Real’s schedule to sign up now for a session.