While everyone – all colors – everyone is affected by stigma – no one wants to say ‘I’m not in control of my mind.’ No one wants to say, ‘The person I love is not in control of [their] mind.’
Mental Health Awareness Month finished back in May, but as we promised you, we’re not about to ease up on these conversations.
We can’t. Why? Well, first, because it’s Bebe Moore Campbell’s Minority Mental Health Month. Ms. Campbell was a Black author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate for people of color, and although many are trying to remove her name from the month, we’re saying “aht aht” to that. Sis put in the WORK, and we’ll continue to make her name and message known.
Another reason we’re keeping this conversation going? Because there’s too much on the line.
Serious mental health illnesses are rising within our community. Yet because of the stigma of keeping these “white people problems” to ourselves, we continually put ourselves at a disadvantage when it comes to receiving the care we need and deserve. Did you know 25% of African Americans seek mental health treatment, compared to 40% of white Americans? Yup. The stigma is still alive and well.
So as uncomfortable as it may feel for many of us, we’re putting our feet to the fire, Sis. We’re continuing to create conversations about the importance of our mental health and ways to break the stigma and de-criminalize mental illness. Because we have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable to cultivate the liberated world we dream of.
But people of color really don’t want to say it because we already feel stigmatized by virtue of skin color or eye shape or accent, and we don’t want any more reasons for anyone to say, ‘You’re not good enough.'”
-Bebe Moore Campbell
(A Mental Health Tip for You)
Self Care Sunday
As Black women, we are constantly in action mode. We’re always ready to say “yes” to the things that serve the ones we love. But when was the last time you paused to check in on whether or not those things, people, or habits you’re saying yes to still serve you?
It’s summertime, but if it’s been a while, then it might be a good time for an internal spring cleaning. Do an inventory check on what things in your life are still working and what things (or people) have outstayed their welcome. Who and what is no longer supporting you in your elevation? What is taking more of your energy than giving it?
Spread Some Blessings!
The consequences of police violence extend far beyond the loss of life. For families affected, it’s the loss of income, the sacrifice of basic necessities, and the start of a high-cost legal fight. If you have the capacity, consider donating to 1M4. Proceeds help support impacted families and sustain the work of 1M4 toward ending police violence for good.
As our good sis, Bebe Moore Campbell, shared, the stigmatization in the Black community is understood. Historically, we’ve been under unjustifiable pressure, and we’ve been raised to show only the strength of our scars. But know this. Showing the pain behind our scars, and even the pain as new scars are forming, is not a sign of weakness.
They’re an evolved form of our strength. And as we learn and lean more on the support and resources we need to become our whole and healthy selves, we’ll continue to unlock strength this world has never seen.
Spread the word.
Your Sis In All Of This,