In honor of our May Wellness Challenge, celebrating our new “Wellness” tab, we felt it necessary to discuss Black mental health. It is no secret that mental health is rarely discussed in the Black community. From addiction to schizophrenia, these disorders are more than prevalent in the Black community.
The lack of discussion regarding mental health rests on a variety of factors. It is possible that Black people do not recognize certain symptoms that categorize mental illness. It is also possible that these discussions are difficult to have and Black people don’t know where to begin. Regardless of where you are in this journey, recognize that mental health matters.
It is not always a matter of diagnosing a mental illness. Sometimes, it’s practicing positive thinking and mindfulness. Black people often find it taboo to meditate or practice affirmations. This is deemed, “strange”, because it goes against what most of us have been taught. From church to daily devotion at your grandmother’s kitchen table, Black people have been taught to, “pray it away.” Not only does this cause a suppression of emotions, it encourages unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Certain issues MUST be addressed. Once these things are addressed, seeking professional help is necessary. There is nothing wrong with seeing a professional or seeking methods of healing. There’s also nothing wrong with meditation and putting yourself on the path to increasing positivity. Take it one step at a time. Hopefully, our community will embrace more mental health dialogue and work together to heal.