By Mental Health First Aid USA on February 9, 2024
“Black History Month is usually a time of reflection. A time to recognize challenges and celebrate triumphs. However, our current circumstances are only typical. Our reflection should not salute the resilience and strength of those who have overcome adversity without also acknowledging the psychological impact of their struggles on their lives, their families and their communities – then and now. Especially in the workplace.”
Tramaine EL-Amin, Vice President for Mental Health First Aid, National Council on Mental Well-Being
These important words, from a 2021 Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) blog post by Tramaine EL-Amin, vice president for Mental Health First Aid, still ring true as mental health challenges continue to affect disproportionately black communities.
Black mental well-being matters. As we celebrate Black History Month, we’re sharing resources to help you support your peers, friends and communities and be a Mental Health First Aider while honoring the diversity of individuals. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the resources available to black communities.
Social media resources
For many, social media is not just a source of entertainment or distraction; it’s a space to turn to for inspiration, keep a pulse on social issues, and support artists and small businesses. Consider hitting the follow button on some of these Black mental health accounts:
- Black male mental health on Instagram
- Bio Composition: “Our perspective, our stories, our brilliance, our healing.”
- Black Mental Health Alliance on Instagram and X
- Bio Composition: “Trusted forum for culturally competent mental health programs and services for marginalized communities.”
- Alkeme Health on Instagram
- Bio Composition: “Mental Health Support for the Black Community.”
- Loveland Foundation on Instagram
- Bio Composition: “The Loveland Foundation is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls.”
- Melanin and mental health on Instagram and X
- Bio Composition: “Two brown chicks changing the face of therapy on either side of the couch helping Black/Latinx ppl find Black/Latinx therapists.”
- Boris L. Henson Foundation on Instagram and LinkedIn
- Bio sharing: Founded by @tarajiphenson, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation is a non-profit organization that advocates for improved access, fights stigma and provides essential resources in Black communities.
- Therapy for black girls on Instagram and Facebook
- Bio Composition: Mental health resources for 💁🏾♀️👸🏿👩🏽🦱
- Silence the shame on Instagram and the website.
- Bio Composition: Educating communities on mental health and wellness through compelling content and wellness training.
- Black mental health on Instagram
- Bio sharing: Providing access to evidence-based information from a Black perspective, to highlight and increase the diversity of mental health professionals, and to decrease the stigma of mental health in the Black community.
These websites offer information, activities and perspectives that can make a difference in your or a friend’s mental wellbeing journey:
- Black Mental Wellness provides access to evidence-based information and resources about mental and behavioral health topics from a Black perspective. Check out the site’s Coping and Wellbeing tab for actionable strategies for difficult situations, such as how to discuss race, discrimination and racial trauma with young people.
- Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental well-being of Black women and girls.
- Black men’s therapy is working to dismantle the stigma that seeking help is a sign of weakness. The organization provides free therapy for men in a competent, non-judgmental multicultural environment.
- Racism and Anti-Racism in America is a free online training series on dismantling systemic racism from the University of Michigan.
- The Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) is removing the barriers Black people experience in accessing or staying connected to emotional health care and healing; it offers a nationwide directory of black therapists who are available virtually.
- The Center of Excellence for African American Behavioral Health (AABH CoE), from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is committed to helping transform mental health and substance use care for African Americans by make it safer, more effective, more accessible, more inclusive. more welcoming, more attractive and more culturally appropriate and responsive.
- The Team: Changing Minds is a national network of mental health responders dedicated to helping young people, and especially young adults, connect with support. They activate peers and trusted adults in young people’s lives who are active in the pastimes they love, ensuring that help is just a click, phone call or link away.
- The Mental Health Coalition’s Guide to Black Mental Health is a comprehensive guide that provides an understanding of specific mental health strengths, challenges, healing methods, and resources for those in the Black community.
For ways to get more directly involved, consider Mental Health First Aid training and learn how to support those around you and look after your own mental wellbeing.
- Find a virtual or in-person Mental Health First Aid course near you using our Find a Course tool on the MHFA website.
- Bring Mental Health First Aid to your workplace by visiting MHFA.org/workplace and filling out the request form.
- Find out where you, your organization and its services stand when it comes to incorporating principles of social justice and equity into mental health and substance use treatment with the National Council Social Justice Academy (SJLA) workbook. This workbook is for providers and leaders of individual mental health and community substance use treatment at any level of experience”
For more actionable information on how to support Black mental health, check out these MHFA related blogs:
- Addressing Rising Suicide Rates in the Black Community: How You Can Help
- Understand the concerns of black employees in the workplace
- Black community support as a mental health first aid
We hope these resources are helpful and encourage you to spread the word on your social networks. You never know when your actions could make someone’s day or save a life. Thank you for choosing to #BeTheDifference!