5 Organizations That Support Black Women’s Mental HealthJun 18, 2021 08:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
No one fares worse from poor treatment than Black women. In the U.S., Black women have the highest pregnancy mortality rates. When it comes to mental health care, Black people are less likely to receive proper treatment and are more likely to terminate treatment prematurely compared to their White counterparts.
“Women are at least twice as likely to experience an episode of major depression as men. And, compared to their Caucasian counterparts, African-American women are only half as likely to seek help,” said chair and medical director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Sibley Memorial Hospital, Erica Richard. Black women can find immense comfort in organizations that provide culturally competent care. Check out these 5 organizations that are here to support the mental health of Black women.
GirlTrek is a national nonprofit that encourages Black women and girls to adopt walking as a form of exercise and self-care. It was started in 2010 by two college friends when they created The GirlTrek Movement to challenge their friends and families to walk to heal their bodies. GirlTrek members also support local and national policy focused on improving access to safe places to walk, as well as improving walkability in 50 high-need communities across the United States. In May 2020, GirlTrek launched a multimedia campaign centered on the legendary stories of Black women like Angela Davis and Nikki Giovanni. The #DaughtersOf conversation series examined the immediate and critical importance of self-care and healing for Black women through the lens of their matrilineal traditions. In June 2020, GirlTrek launched a one-of-a-kind podcast and 21-day walking meditation. The GirlTrek Gives Back Fund provides funding to members to address basic needs such as food, hygiene, medical needs, and housing.
Sad Girls Club (SGC) is a non-profit organization that offers mental health resources and community. SGC caters to Gen Z and millennials, who are more likely to report having fair or poor mental health compared to older generations. SGC partners with accredited therapists of color who lead online Soul Sessions, where young people around the world can vent and heal alongside peers. Founder Elyse Fox had no one in her family spoke about mental health while she was growing up. “The topic of mental illness was never discussed in my home. I never had the outlook or knew how to speak about it,” said Fox in an interview with Teen Vogue. “I want everyone to know about mental health, that it isn’t something that is visible. It doesn’t have a face, no age range. It's something we can cope with — and it's best to do it together rather than alone.”
Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls, and works to connect Black women with culturally competent therapists. It also works to destigmatize mental health and therapy in the Black community. In addition to giving you access to providers in your area, they also have a guide to help you get started with therapy, a podcast, book recommendations, and cute merch. It was all started by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford. “This space was developed to present mental health topics in a way that feels more accessible and relevant,” said Bradford on their website.
The Loveland Foundation was birthed in 2018 from a birthday fundraiser on social media created by author Rachel Cargle. Her enthusiastic social media community raised over $250,000, which made it possible for Black women and girls nationally to receive therapy support. The Loveland Foundation is the official continuation of this effort to bring opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls. Through fellowships, residency programs, listening tours, The Loveland Foundation hopes to contribute to both the empowerment and the liberation of the communities they serve.
The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans people wherever we can reach them. In May 2020, the organization released the Nina Pop and Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Funds to provide one-time free therapy to Black Trans people. The Okra Purse Project, which amplifies fundraisers for Black Trans people as well as The Direct Chef Services, which hires Black Trans ches to prepare nutritious and culturally speaking meals for The Okra Project that are delivered to Black Trans community members in need. “For Black people, in particular, the kitchen is such a place of family lineage. It’s a place of community. It’s a place of love,” said the founder of The Okra Project Ianne Fields Stewart.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies.
She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.
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