*This story was originally published on Good, Good, Good. Good Good Good is an independent media organization creating content and resources about the good in the world.
At the intersection of race and mental health, many BIPOC communities — especially Black communities — experience barriers such as lack of health insurance, increased stigma, and systemic racism.
According to a 2018 survey from Mental Health America, over seven million people that identify as Black or African American reported experiencing mental illness in the past year. That’s more people than the total populations of Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia combined.
Processing through individual trauma is challenging enough, but adding mass trauma like COVID-19, police brutality, and the current divisive political landscape creates an even more significant need for the Black community to have access to professional counsel.
Historically — and not surprisingly — racism has been an issue within the field of psychology, with most psychological orientations centered on the white, European, male experience — which poses a problem in serving diverse populations.
Data pulled from a 2015 American Psychological Association report shares that 86% of psychologists in the U.S. were white, while only 5% were Asian, 5% Hispanic, 4% Black, and 1% multiracial.
Yes … you read that right. But, we’ve got some good news!
There are a growing number of Black-owned organizations and apps offering top-notch resources and culturally competent professionals.
If you are a part of the Black community, we hope you can find the resources you’re looking for to care for your mental wellbeing. If you identify as white, we hope you’ll share this with friends of color who might find these resources helpful.
We’d also like to suggest donating or sponsoring a membership for those financially unable to access these services.
Black mental health matters. Every. Single. Day.
Black Mental Health Resources and Therapy
The Loveland Foundation
The Loveland Foundation, established by Rachel Cargle, has provided therapy support to over 10,000 Black women, girls, and gender nonbinary individuals since 2018.
They offer resources and collaborative initiatives that prioritize opportunity, access, validation, and healing among communities of color — with a focus on Black women and girls. Through this work, they seek to contribute to the empowerment and the liberation of communities across the U.S.
With finances being a significant barrier to seeking mental health services, The Loveland Therapy Fund specifically provides financial assistance to Black women and girls across the U.S.
Through their strategic partnerships, recipients have access to comprehensive lists of mental health professionals that provide high-quality, culturally competent services.
Beyond its partnerships, The Loveland Foundation offers fellowships, residency programs, listening tours, and so much more!
Therapy For Black Girls
What started as a Google Drive Directory of Black therapists has since grown to become a large community of Black women and girls passionate about destigmatizing mental health.
Founder Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, speaker, and the host of the wildly popular mental health podcast, Therapy for Black Girls.
Through her organization, Black women are connected with trusted, culturally qualified therapists that understand the distinctive experiences of Black women.
Therapy for Black Girls also works to destigmatize mental health and therapy in the Black community by creating relevant and accessible information to illustrate what are often jargon-dense psychological concepts.
Therapy for Black Men
Mental Health America reports that Black men are particularly concerned about stigma.
However, the good news is that the conversation is shifting for Black men. In 2016, musician, Kid Cudi openly spoke about his depression on social media.
In reaction to his vulnerability, the internet made it a point to talk about Black men’s mental health with the hashtag #YouGoodMan.
This online movement created a platform to encourage Black men to collectively talk more about their mental health.
Other major public figures like Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Logic are some of many who have continued the conversation around mental health.
This is where the organization, Therapy for Black Men, comes in and is set on shattering the existing stigma.
With a rapidly growing directory of over 200 licensed therapists and 40 coaches throughout the U.S., they offer a judgment-free, multiculturally-experienced service to Black men.
Their social media presence alone gives us hope that this organization is helping create a safe space for Black men to begin addressing their mental health.
National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN)
Diverse gender and race representation in the mental health industry is needed. The good news is that organizations like NQTTCN are doing something about it.
NQTTCN started a call for queer, gender non-conforming, and transgender mental health professionals of color to establish and support one another as clinicians and healers.
This organization offers mental health tools for both practicing and aspiring practitioners rooted in social justice and liberation.
GirlTrek is the largest public health nonprofit for Black women, and girls in the U.S.
With 1 million members, GirlTrek encourages women to walk as a practical first step to inspire healthy living, families, and communities.
GirlTrek members also support local and national policy focused on improving access to safe places to walk and improving walkability in 50 high-need communities across the U.S.
“This is not a fitness organization, this is a campaign for healing,” GirlTrek’s site proudly proclaims. “We walk to heal our bodies, inspire our families, and to reclaim the streets of our neighborhoods.”
One of their most notable programs is the Black History Bootcamp Podcast, a 21-day walking meditation series inspired by civil rights trailblazers.
Black Mental Health Apps
The Shine App is on a mission to make caring for mental and emotional health more accessible, representative, and inclusive.
Founded by two BIPOC women, this app was built to address the stark representation issue in the mental health space.
With daily meditations, self-care courses, and a virtual community you can connect with, this app provides its users with practical workshops and professional support from its inclusive network.
The Shine App was also featured as Best of 2020 by the App Store & 2019 Webby Award Winner for Best Lifestyle App.
Ayana is a virtual therapy app that helps people from marginalized communities find a therapist they can identify with.
The app was started by former investment banker and fashion entrepreneur Eric Coly, when he realized just how difficult it was for his friend to find a therapist who would understand her unique experiences as a woman of color.
This includes important considerations such as a person’s race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Additionally, Coly incorporated eight options for race and ethnicity, with subheads for each.
Once complete, users are matched with a licensed professional to begin their mental health journey.
The Safe Place
The Safe Place is a free mental health app specifically focused on serving the Black community.
Its founder, Jasmin Pierre, is an author, and mental health advocate who was motivated to transform her own mental health recovery into creating a practical resource that offers awareness, education, and hope to a very serious issue.
Data collected in 2019, by the CDC, offered an accurate comparison of America’s mental health status from before the pandemic to June 2020 — around the time of George Floyd’s murder and mass global protests.
That research demonstrated how rates of anxiety and depression skyrocketed in such a short period of time, particularly in the Black community.
The Root reported that Jasmin is continually expanding her free app to reflect the current pressing needs of the Black community — especially young Black Americans.
The Safe Place app includes important Black mental health topics like Mental Illness Descriptions, Self Care During Police Brutality, When Family Doesn’t Understand, and more!
For Immediate Help
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.
Or text HOME to 741741 to text a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free 24/7.