In addition to the lifetime of stresses, shared or indiscriminate traumas, and chemical imbalances we experience that may impact our mental health, to live in a world where racial aggression threatens you & your loved ones' lives is an experience of the intersecting effects of generalized human challenges and acute racialized violations of our basic human need for safety and belonging. This can lead to increased anxiety, decreased self worth, trouble eating or sleeping, substance abuse, depression, PTSD, the desire to self-harm, and more– all signs that the body is trying to cope with extreme stress, trauma, or grief.

Mental Health America (MHA) notes, "the historical Black and African American experience in America has and continues to be characterized by trauma and violence more often than for their White counterparts and impacts emotional and mental health of both youth and adults". MHA statistics indicate that 13.4% of the US population identifies as Black or African American, and that roughly 16% (or 4.8 million individuals) of the Black community reported having experienced a mental illness in 2017, with incidents of serious mental illness (SMI) rising among all ages of Black and African American people between 2008 and 2018. MHA also offers resources for Bipolar Disorder and Clinical Depression.

It is likely that the compounding trauma, secondary trauma, and stress experienced as a result of COVID, racial disparities in the economic and health impact of COVID, and the multiple incidents of racially-motivated violence in recent years will have increased the percentage of Black and African American individuals suffering from mental unease and illness. Yet, many surveys indicate that stigmas exist within the Black community against seeking care for mental illness and suffering. In part, this is because it can be challenging finding mental health professionals and resources that deeply understand the psychological impact of being racialized.

Fortunately, more and more conversations are starting to happen, and help is available.

The struggle for overdue social change is exhausting. The trauma and secondary trauma of experiencing or witnessing racial violence (particularly within an identity group that you feel yourself deeply connected to) is almost always too much for one person to bear or heal from alone. Please allow yourself to rest & lean into what makes your heart feel nourished. May this be a gentle reminder that it is ok—even necessary—to care for your mental health right now. Please remember that reaching out for support is not only ok, but vital. Whether you connect with a wise friend or a good therapist, you don’t have to go through this pain alone.

Mental Health Resources for Black and African American Individuals

Hotlines & Textlines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat
Call or Text 1-800-273-8255
Options for Español & Deaf/Hard of Hearing
For Americans who need to connect with help quickly. This service is open 24/7 and can conduct chats in Spanish and for the Hearing Impaired. The website lists additional resources for specific communities like LGBTQ, youth, veterans, loss survivors, and attempt survivors. They can help connect you to local resources if you want to take the next step in your healing journey

BlackLine
www.callblackline.com
Call 1-800-604-5841
BlackLine provides a space for peer support, counseling, witnessing, and affirming the lived experiences to folxs who are most impacted by systematic oppression with an LGBTQ+ Black Femme Lens. They prioritize BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color)

Trans Lifeline
www.translifeline.org
Call 877 565-8860 (USA) or
Call 877 330-6366 (Canada)
The only peer support crisis line for trans and questioning people, by trans people (that we know of)! It is a grassroots hotline offering direct emotional and financial support for the trans community. NOTE: They DO NOT call the police to report suicidality without consent of the caller

Therapy Resources

Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM)
www.beam.community
BEAM is a national training, movement building, and grant making organization dedicated to the healing, wellness and liberation of Black and marginalized communities

Black Virtual Wellness Directory
www.wellness.beam.community
Operated by BEAM, this tool will help you find a virtual Black therapist, doula, yoga teacher, mediator, and much more

The Black Health Alliance
www.blackhealthalliance.ca
A community-led registered charity working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada. Driven by groundbreaking research, strong partnerships, and people, this movement continues to build innovative solutions and mobilize people & financial resources to create lasting change in the lives of Black children, families and communities

Association of Black Psychologists
www.abpsi.org
Founded by a number of Black psychologists to actively address the serious problems facing them and the larger Black community. Guided by the principle of self-determination, these psychologists and students address the long-neglected needs of Black professionals. Their goal is to have a positive impact upon the mental health of the national Black community by means of planning, programs, services, training, and advocacy. Check out their Resources and Find A Therapist pages

Therapy for Black Men
www.therapyforblackmen.org

Therapy for Black Girls
www.therapyforblackgirls.com

Self-Care and Mental Wellness Resources & Tools

The Loveland Foundation
www.thelovelandfoundation.org
Committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways., with a focus on Black women and girls. Resources and initiatives are collaborative and they prioritize opportunity, access, validation, and healing

The Nap Ministry
www.thenapministry.wordpress.com
Founded by Tricia Hersey, this organization examines the liberating power of naps. Their REST IS RESISTANCE framework & practice helps install sacred and safe spaces for communities to rest together. Also facilitate immersive workshops that help examine rest as a radical healing tool to combat thee racial and social justice issue of sleep deprivation

Liberate – Black Meditation App
Download via App Store
Download via Google Play
This Black-owned app is available to everyone but focuses on being a safe space for the Black community to help develop a daily meditation habit. Features a carefully-curated library of meditations led by teachers of color representing a wide range of experiences and lineages. Focus areas include stress, anxiety/depression, internalized racism, grief & loss, and much more

Shine – Calm Anxiety & Stress App
Download via App Store
Download via Google Play
Standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Shine is on a mission to make caring for your mental health easier, more representative, and more inclusive. Create a daily self-care ritual to help yourself meditate, connect, and reflect

My Therapy Cards
www.mytherapycards.com
The first self-exploration card deck carefully curated by Dr. Ebony, a Black female psychologist for other women of color. Helping you grow and elevate your emotional & mental health through real therapy techniques, instead of social media fluff

TransformHarm
www.transformharm.org
A resource hub about ending violence, offering an introduction to transformative justice

Understanding the Trauma Response

Note: The following resources will help you understand the trauma and vicarious trauma responses that many individuals in the Black community may be experiencing. Micalah Webster, MSW/MHSA also offers a list of resources & self-care ideas/tips for anyone experiencing racial trauma (bottom of list)

Read: Racism's Psychological Toll
Jenna Wortham

Read: Black Men Matter - Examining Mental Health Issues Among Black Men
Drug Rehab USA

Read: When Black Death Goes Viral, It can Trigger PTSD-like Trauma
Kenya Downs

Read: Raising Hope: Parenting in an Anti-Black Environment
Roberta K. Timothy

Read: Grief is a Direct Impact of Racism: Eight Ways to Support Yourself
Roberta K. Timothy

Read: Tips for Self-Care: When Police Brutality Has You Questioning Humanity and Social Media is Enough
Dr. Imani J. Walker

Read/Listen: Coping While Black: A Season of Traumatic News Takes a Psychological Toll
Cheryl Corley

Read: Resources for Black Healing
Micalah Webster, MSW/MHSA

Workshops and Online Courses for Healing from Trauma and Distress

Anchoring Resilience for Turbulent Times and Intro to The Resilience Toolkit
Lumos Transforms

Free Racialized Trauma Course
Cultural Somatics Training Institute

Self-Care as a Radical Act of Liberation Workbook
CompassPoint

Legacy of Trauma: Context of the African American Existence
Brandon James, M.A. (Psychotherapist and Behavioral Health Consultant)

The Road to Resilience
American Psychological Association

The Great Unlearn
Rachel Cargle

Podcasts & Video

Naming It Podcast
Dr. Bedford Palmer & Dr. LaMisha Hill

The Bodyful Black Girl™ Podcast
Jennifer Sterling

Black Mental Health Podcast
Reginald A. Howard

Celeste The Therapist Podcast
Celeste Viciere

Fireflies Unite Podcast
T-Kea Blackman

TEDx Talk: Black Self/White World – lessons on internalized racism
Jabari Lyles
Published December 18th, 2017. Jabari Lyles (a Baltimore educator and nonprofit/community leader) discusses his personal journey to understanding and loving himself as a Black man, in spite of growing up among a predominantly white community

TEDx Talk: I searched 4 it blinded: the power of self-love and self-esteem
Caira Lee
Published May 12th, 2015. Award-winning sla poet Caira Lee speaks on the power of absolute self-love. Through a beautiful illustration of her own journey through life, Lee demonstrates that body, size, race, and sexuality are assets that don't need fixing and should be embraced

TEDx Talk: How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time
Baratunde Thurston
Published June 26th, 2019. Exploring the phenomenon of White Americans calling the police on Black Americans who have commited the "crimes" of eating, walking, or generally "living while Black". In this thought-provoking and hilarious talk, Thurston reveals the power of language to change stories of trauma into those of healing– while challenging us all to level up.

Curated Lists of Mental Health Resources

Black and African American Communities and Mental Health
Mental Health America

Anti-Racism Resources
Harvard University

Therapy Resources for People of Color
Gladys Gitau-Damaskos

12 Black Mental Health and Wellness Resources to Follow on Instagram
Vogue

A List of Mental Health Resources Available for People of Color
Refinery29

BLM: Mental Health & Educational Resources List
The Calculating Mind

15 Mental Health Podcasts for People of Color
Just Davia

Pre-loader