By Mental Health First Aid USA on February 9, 2024
“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. Our reflection should not applaud the resilience and strength of those who have overcome adversity without also acknowledging the psychological impact of their struggles on their lives, families and communities—both then and now. Especially in the workplace.”
Tramaine EL-Amin, vice president for Mental Health First Aid, National Council for Mental Wellbeing
These important words, from a 2021 Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) blog post by Tramaine EL-Amin, vice president for Mental Health First Aid, still ring true as mental health challenges continue to disproportionately affect Black communities.
Black mental wellbeing matters. As we celebrate Black History Month, we’re sharing resources to help you support your peers, friends, and communities and be an effective Mental Health First Aider, honoring individuals’ diversity. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the resources available to Black communities.
Social Media Resources
For many, social media isn’t just a source of entertainment or distraction; it’s a space to turn to for inspiration, keep a pulse on social issues, and support artists and small businesses. Consider hitting the follow button on some of these Black mental health accounts:
Bio breakdown: Founded by @tarajiphenson, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation is a nonprofit organization that advocates for improved access, combats stigma, and provides essential resources in Black communities.
Bio breakdown: Providing access to evidence-based information from a Black perspective, to highlight and increase the diversity of mental health professionals, and to decrease the mental health stigma in the Black community.
These websites provide information, activities and perspectives that can make a difference in your or a friend’s mental wellbeing journey:
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.
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; it 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.
Team: Changing Minds is a national network of mental health responders dedicated to helping young people, and especially young men, connect to support. They activate the trusted peers and adults in young people’s lives, who are active in pastimes they love, ensuring help is just a click, call, or connection away.
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 Social Justice Leadership Academy (SJLA) workbook. This workbook is for individual community mental health and substance use treatment providers and leaders at any level of experience “
For more actionable information on how to support Black mental health, check out these related MHFA blogs:
We hope these resources are helpful and encourage you to spread the word over your social networks. You never know when your actions could improve someone’s day or save a life. Thank you for choosing to #BeTheDifference!
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