BIPOC and Mental Health
It’s seen too often. It’s heard about too often. Black folks don’t believe in mental health.
Can America afford to buy that sad tale anymore? It’s not that we don’t believe in mental health. The reality is, the inalienable right to healthcare has not always always belonged to us; let alone MENTAL HEALTH CARE.
That said, one cannot take a group of marginalized people and expect them to see the importance or significance of treating something that can’t be seen especially when for so long they were barely treated for things that the eye could see. You can’t expect them to exercise, or better yet, demand their right to be treated for their depression…anxiety…and whatever else they may have had back in the day when they were squatting in fields to bare babies instead of being in nice, plush beds while birthing their babies.
Long story short… we’ve squatted in the fields too long. It’s time to come in sis… It’s time to come in brother. It’s time to get the care you rightfully deserve. It’s time for you to take up more space in the comfy sofas of #mentalhealthprofessionals. It’s time that you allow someone to walk beside you and teach how to do the work.
Take up space and talk about feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, feelings of oppression, doubt, and fears that you’ve faced in the various trials of your life.
As professionals, we must lean in and encourage them to do the hard work. We must caution them that though the work will not be comfortable, on the other side there is freedom from the battle in their mind.
To the professionals that treat Black Americans, I urge you to look beyond our skin tone, demonstrate beneficence, and treat us in the same manner that you would any other person.
Give us care that helps us to understand the importance of mental health.
Give us care that makes us want to take up space in your comfy sofas, so we can get to the other side.
Happy BIPOC Mental Health Month!
Until the stigma is no more,
Ashley is wearing the Culturally Competent PsychLife Tee Co. design.