We’re suffering a collective trauma, but members of the Black community, who are already inherently raised alongside that trauma, are getting hit the hardest. While mental health resources have historically been out of reach for many Americans, a number of organizations make them accessible, affordable, and as simple as pressing a button. Inspired by Jesse Sparks, who shared a wonderfully comprehensive list at Healthyish, we’ve compiled a brief explainer on the services offered by different collectives.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness points out that only 30 percent of African Americans with mental illness receive yearly treatment compared to the national average of 43 percent, due in part to a combination of socioeconomic issues. And then there’s the lack of diversity in the mental health profession; according to the American Psychological Association, 86 percent of psychologists are white, while only 4 percent are black. This can make finding a therapist who understands the unique struggles of racial trauma even more difficult.
There’s a long way to go to alter systemic inequality in mental health treatment. As we fight for that, these mental health resources for the Black community hope to help the healing begin.
Accessible mental health resources for members of the Black community
Therapy for Black Girls doesn’t just ease the anxiety of finding a therapist by having a searchable directory of advisors, it also has a podcast hosted by Joy Harden Bradford, PhD that tackles everything from “The Impact of Racial Trauma” to “Why Do We Procrastinate.” You can also join their Yellow Couch Collective, a support group that connects you to members in your area as well as giving you first access to events, Q&As and more. You can start a free trial, after which it’s about $10 a month.
The mission of Inclusive Therapists is true to its name; they focus on the needs of marginalized groups, so you’ll be able to find a mental health professional that’s not only an advocate of you, but of your identity. If you’re extremely nervous about reaching out, it even makes the extra step of matching you with a therapist that can best fulfill your preferences.
The Black Mental Health Alliance works to better the community with training initiatives, but it also has a directory of Black psychiatrists, a questionnaire that can connect you with a therapist, and plenty of quick fact sheets and reading materials as well.
Black Mental Wellness is a community dedicated to the mental health of all BIPOC, and myriad coping strategies for when you’re at your breaking point. The women of Black Mental Wellness isn’t just about nurturing those who are struggling, though; they aim to help create the next generation of Black therapists with mentoring programs.
I’ve recommended this one to a friend who was delighted you could sort therapists by ethic speciality, once again reassuring that you’ll be in a safe, empathetic space. The main joy of Open Path Collective is that it has (relatively) affordable rates in the $30 to $60 range. Finances are a huge block when it comes to seeking help, so this can be win if you’re getting overwhelmed by prices elsewhere.
Sista Afya is a great option if you really need well, sisterhood right now, and don’t want to go through this mental health journey alone. They offer monthly support groups, group therapy and workshops for under $35 per session, as well as one-on-one sessions. Sista Afya’s approach really focuses on that community aspect, providing workshops and a gorgeously organized resource center.
To be clear, the Loveland Foundation is actually partnered with many of these associations in order to bring financially accessible therapy to young Black girls and women. You can also apply to receive financial assistance in your mental healthy journey. On the off chance you’re sharing this article for a friend or loved one, you also should donate to the fund; they have brilliant suggestions on how to do so including a giving circle involving six of your friend (love it)!
Passing along this suggestion from my incredible colleague Saanya Ali. If you’re a BIPOC in the New York City area and you’re suffering from trauma in the wake of the brutality, Well Williamsburg is offering a free therapy session.
Finally, let’s please shatter the negative stigma that therapy has for Black men specifically, especially when it comes to these patriarchal ideas of masculinity. Like many of the other sites, Therapy for Black Men helps find licensed, vetted therapists and coaches via a search directory, allowing Black men a shoulder to lean on and a hand to raise them up.
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