“Black History Month is typically a time of reflection. A time to acknowledge the challenges and celebrate the triumphs. Yet, our current circumstance is anything but typical.” These words, taken from a 2021 Mental Health First Aid blog post by Tramaine EL-Amin, Client Experience Officer with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, still ring true as the COVID-19 pandemic and related mental health challenges continue to disproportionately affect Black communities.
Black mental wellbeing matters. To help you be an effective First Aider and honor individuals’ diversity, we want to take a deeper dive into some of the resources available to Black communities during these challenging times.
Social Media Resources
For many, social media isn’t just a source of entertainment or distraction, it’s where you go to get inspired, stay in-the-know about social issues and support artists and small businesses. Consider hitting the follow button on some of these Black mental health accounts:
- Black Male Mental Health on Instagram
- Bio Breakdown: “Our perspective, our stories, our brilliance, our healing.”
- Black Mental Health Alliance on Instagram and Twitter
- Bio Breakdown: “Trusted forum for culturally-competent mental health programs and services for marginalized communities.”
- Alkeme Health on Instagram
- Bio Breakdown: “Alkeme is a digital health platform designed to empower, heal, and inspire – creating a legacy of generational health.”
- The Loveland Foundation on Instagram
- Bio Breakdown: “Loveland Foundation is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls.”
- Inclusive Therapists on Instagram
- Bio Breakdown: “Therapy directory that celebrates ALL: Identities, Abilities & Bodies”
- Melanin & Mental Health on Instagram and Twitter
- Bio Breakdown: “Promoting mental wellness of Black/Latinx people”
- Depressed While Black on Twitter
- Bio Breakdown: “Black-affirming mental health nonprofit founded by Imadé”
These websites provide information, activities and perspectives that can make a difference in your or a friend’s mental wellbeing journey:
- Black Mental Wellness provides access to evidence-based information and resources about mental and behavioral health topics from a Black perspective. Check out the site’s Coping & Wellness tab for actionable strategies like how to discuss race, discrimination and racial trauma with youth.
- Therapy for Black Girls was developed to present mental health topics in a way that feels more accessible and relevant to Black women, who are often discouraged from taking steps to see a therapist due to stigma.
- Therapy for Black Men is working to dismantle the stigma that asking for help is a sign of weakness. The organization provides free therapy for men in a judgment-free, multiculturally competent setting.
- Racism and Anti-Racism in America – A free online training series from the University of Michigan on dismantling systemic racism.
- Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) is removing barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing and offers a nationwide directory of Black therapists who are available virtually.
- African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (AABH CoE), from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is determined to help transform mental health and substance use care for African Americans, making it safer, more effective, more accessible, more inclusive, more welcoming, more engaging and more culturally appropriate and responsive.
For those looking for ways to get more directly involved, consider getting trained in Mental Health First Aid and learn how to take care of your own mental wellbeing and support those around you.
- Find a virtual or in-person Mental Health First Aid course near you by using our Find a Course Tool on the MHFA website.
- Bring Mental Health First Aid to your workplace by visiting MHFA.org/workplace and completing the inquiry form.
- Find out where you, your organization and its services are when it comes to embedding principles of social justice and equity into mental health and substance use treatment with The National Council’s new Social Justice Leadership Academy (SJLA) workbook.
For more actionable information on how to support Black mental health, check out these related MHFA blogs:
- Addressing Increasing Suicide Rates in the Black Community: How You Can Help
- Understand Workplace Concerns of Black Employees
- Supporting the Black Community as a Mental Health First Aider
We hope these resources are helpful and encourage you to spread the word via your social networks. You never know when your actions could improve someone’s day or save a life. Thank you for choosing to #BeTheDifference!
Snowden, L.R., Snowden, J.M. (2021, March 30). Coronavirus trauma and African Americans’ mental health: seizing opportunities for transformational change. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18(7):3568 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8037715/