10 Mental Health Resources for the Black Community
There are a number of organizations and virtual platforms that want to help.
As protestors and activists continue to advocate for Black lives and demand the end of systemic racism around the world, it's clear that mental health resources for members of the Black community are critical—in this moment and always. Addressing and coping with trauma isn't easy, but according to Dr. Reba Peoples, M.D., of Imara Health and Wellness, a helpful first step is to set limits on emotional labor. "[This] has to do with the invisible, undervalued, and often uncompensated work of keeping other people comfortable—often at the expense of your own emotional well-being," she says. To avoid becoming overworked emotionally and mentally, she recommends prioritizing your own grief and focusing your attention away from things like social media comments that minimize Black life.
Other reminders that are key during this time? Relieve yourself of guilt if you are not able to advocate consistently on the front lines and be kind to your body—the call for change is not a sprint, and keeping yourself healthy and energized is the best way to press on. "There is so much heavy content everywhere we look—we're still seeing injustice," Dr. Peoples says. "We're [also] still in the middle of a global pandemic." Tapping into your power sources, then, is essential for your mental health, and Dr. Peoples suggests anything from music to conversations with friends and family to fill you up. Here, we share additional resources—including organizations providing the necessary support for those in the Black community for the long term.
Black Mental Health Alliance
The Black Mental Health Alliance (BHMA) is an organization that brings educational forums, trainings, and services to support the Black community. BHMA also enlists licensed mental health professionals to serve adults and children. Whether you are looking for an informative summit or workshop, this platform rounds up culturally relevant resources that address race-based trauma, structural racism, the stigma of mental health, and more to best serve those in marginalized communities.
National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN)
Erica Woodland founded the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) in May of 2016 after seeing the lack of resources and a clear outlet for Queer and Trans people of color. Today, the organization offers a network of mental health practitioners, emotional and spiritual care resources, and financial assistance for members of the community in need of mental health support.
Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation
Actress Taraji P. Henson founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation to erase the stigma associated with mental health in the Black community and to pay homage to her father along the way. Her dad consistently pushed through physical and emotional hardships, which was not always to his benefit; today, Henson is sharing his story and speaking out about the importance of seeking help in the aftermath of trauma. The organization is currently offering virtual therapy support in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to a directory of mental health providers and programs serving the Black community.
Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM)
The Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) brings advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists, and activists together to form an organization dedicated to the emotional and mental health of the Black community. The collective offers trainings, like "Black Mental Health and Healing Justice: Peer Support Training" and "Healing and Restorative Justice 101," and an extensive Black virtual therapist network—two of several outlets to help the community learn and heal.
Therapy for Black Girls
Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist, speaker, and host of the mental health podcast "Therapy for Black Girls," founded the organization of the same name to make mental health relevant and accessible for Black women. She uses pop culture to connect with psychological concepts and topics for her followers and clients.
Melanin and Mental Health
Melanin and Mental Health serves as a leading resource for Black and minority communities with monthly events and an online therapist directory. You can even tune into the "Between Sessions" podcast—a conversation led by the organization's founders, Eboni Harris and Eliza Boquin, and other licensed therapists, who go over topics such as mental health within the Black male community and dealing with grief.
Black Men Heal
The goal of Black Men Heal is to remove the stigma of reaching out for help on the journey towards emotional and mental healing. The organization matches men of color with therapists who can relate to stressors like racism and prejudice. Individual and group therapy, training and consultations, and speaking engagements are available for interested clients.
Darian Hall and Elisa Shankle founded HealHaus as a safe space for accessible, inclusive, and community-oriented wellness. The Brooklyn-based organization has daily virtual yoga and meditation classes in addition to workshops catered to self-care and healing for people of color.
Black Female Therapists
The Black Female Therapists website and its corresponding social media account are filled with resources, such as daily affirmation posts, therapists available for virtual sessions, and other helpful tips to manage stress. While the platform prominently features therapists who are women, the service also has a directory for black male psychologists to best serve their audience's needs.
Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness
The Chicago-based Sista Afya platform offers resources for Black women at a low cost. The organization shares mental health resources on its social media account and offers services like mental wellness check-ins via Zoom and virtual "Sista Support Groups" to create a community that helps women consistently engage with one another.