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Black History Month

Black History Month

We are highlighting Black and African American contributions to the mental health movement because they are oftentimes overlooked. Without recognizing the lack of representation of Black and African American people in the mental health movement, we do a disservice and continue to inflict harm.

Learning about the history of systemic racism during Black History Month* - and all year - in the mental health system and movement and how it harms Black communities in the US and around the world is key for creating a mentally healthier world. 

Below is a non-exhaustive list of Black and African American mental health resources.

Black Mental Health History

Black Pioneers in Mental Health

A Century of Stigma for Black America and Mental Health
The podcast HISTORY This Week explores what happened in 1840 as U.S. Marshals went door to door conducting the sixth-ever census in the United States. That marked the first time the U.S. government included a question about mental health. The results were tragic and long-lasting. Twenty-one years before the Civil War erupted, with over two million enslaved people in America, the question fed and upheld a racist and pernicious lie that was spreading throughout America at the time: freedom causes African Americans to go insane.

The 1840 U.S. Census Was Overly Interested in Americans' Mental Health 

The Central State Hospital Digital Library & Archives Project

The Historical Roots of Racial Disparities in the Mental Health System

The Black Mental Health Alliance

Statistics and Information Related to Mental Health for Black and African American Communities

Racial Trauma

Racism and Mental Health

Black and African American Communities and Mental Health

Caregiving in BIPOC Communities

COVID-19 and BIPOC Communities

How Race Matters: What We Can Learn From Mental Health America’s Screening In 2020

Black Voices on Mental Health

Honoring Black History While Honoring Mental Health

Road To Wellness: An African American Female’s Journey

Racism Deniers Make It Harder To Do This Incredible, Exhausting Work

A Black, Christian’s Journey To Mental Wellness 

We Will No Longer Tolerate Injustice In America

I’m Still Grieving featuring Caren Howard

I Feel Disconnected From My Community featuring Caren Howard

How To Push Through A Crisis featuring Caren Howard

Dealing with Pressure and Expectations with Princess Asia and Mario

Being In A Relationship With Someone Who Has A Mental Illness featuring Rwenshaun Miller

Blogs From Non-Black People of Color on Issues Affecting Black Communities

The Legacy Of “Deinstitutionalization”

Why Silence Weighs Heavily On The Mental Health Of Marginalized Communities

Mental Health Resources for Black and African Americans

  • Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM): BEAM is a training, movement building and grant making organization dedicated to the healing, wellness, and liberation of Black communities. BEAM envisions a world where there are no barriers to Black Healing. 
    • Toolkits & Education: graphics on accountability, self-control, and emotional awareness; journal prompts; articles on Black mental health
    • Videos: trainings and webinars, recorded and available for free
  • The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation: changing the perception of mental illness in the African-American community by encouraging people to get the help they need; focuses on stigma/self-stigma reduction and building trust between Black people and the mental health field.
    • Resource Guide: directory of mental health providers and programs that serve the Black community; includes therapists, support groups, etc, but also digital content, faith-based programs, educational programs, etc
  • Therapy for Black Girls: online space encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls; referral tool to find a therapist in your area
    • Therapist Directory: find trusted therapists that can help you navigate being a strong, Black woman; can search for in-office therapist by your location or virtual therapist
    • The Yellow Couch Collective: a paid membership community ($9.99/mo), space for Black women to gather to support, encourage, and learn from each other.
    • Therapy for Black Girls Podcast: The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly chat about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions to become the best possible versions of ourselves.
  • The Loveland Foundation: financial assistance to Black women & girls seeking therapy
  • Therapy for Black Men: primarily a therapist directory for Black men seeking therapy; includes some resources and stories
  • Dr. Ebony’s My Therapy Cards: self-exploration card deck created by a Black female psychologist for other women of color; created with the intention of helping other women of color grow and elevate in the areas of emotional and mental health
  • Innopsych: InnoPsych’s mission is to bring healing to communities of color by changing the face and feel of therapy. They strive to make therapists of color more visible in the community by creating a path to wellness-themed business ownership; to make it faster (and easier) for people of color to match with a therapist of color; and to create a major shift in how communities of color (or POCs) view therapy.
  • DRK Beauty: A well-being and mental health digital platform that helps womxn of color discover and craft their own unique well-being journey.
  • BLD PWR: BLD PWR engages pop culture, education, and activism to build and train an inclusive community of entertainers and athletes to advance radical social change. BLD PWR partners with grassroots causes and organizations at the intersections of gender, immigration, economic, educational, environmental and racial justice movements.
  • The AAKOMA Project: The AAKOMA Project works with teenagers and their families to raise awareness, conduct patient-centered research, and encourage young people to begin conversations in their communities.
  • The NotOK App: The notOK App™ is a digital panic button that takes the guesswork out of asking for help when you're feeling vulnerable.
  • Couched in Color Podcast: Couched in Color is a weekly show designed to encourage dialogue on the mental health needs of youth and young adults of color.
  • Depressed While Black: Depressed While Black, founded by writer and metnal health advocate Imadé (ee-MAH-day), envisions a world where people of African descent heal from severe depression through Black-affirming mental health support and advocacy.

More Resources

Black Past

National Museum of African American History and Culture

African American History Month

Smithsonian Education – Black History Month

National Park Service – African American Heritage

National Archives – African American History Portal

National Endowment for the Humanities – African American History and Culture

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Black History Month

*Note: MHA is using “Black History Month” as opposed to African American History Month to acknowledge the contributions of Black people whose ancestry is unknown or who do not identify as African.