Black Mental Health: Stigma and Resources

Mental health affects every culture, ethnicity, and race. With the challenges of the world, many people struggle to find peace in the spaces, both around them and within. These dark times can feel both suffocating and lonely. Ask yourself, when you begin to feel the world drawing too close for comfort, what do you need that will offer some relief? Some would answer that they desire a listening ear. They would like someone who does not think they are ‘crazy’ and who truly wants to understand what is troubling them. They desire someone that they can be vulnerable with. This would be a great time to pursue counseling, but what if you find yourself hesitant behind this decision?

Today, I would like to emphasize how mental health affects the Black community by examining the stigma surrounding it and providing resources that prove to be helpful.

Mental Health Stigma in the Black Community 

As stated above, no culture, ethnicity or race are exempt from the effects of mental health. Typically, in the Black culture, issues like depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, eating disorders and many other mental health issues, get ignored.

Black Mental Health Obstacles

There are many things that contribute to the pains Black people endure such as racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Due to systemic oppression and the view of having to work ten times harder than our peers, many Black people have taken hold of the ‘strong Black man / woman’ role. This view may seem prestigious, but to the tired, anxious and/or depressed person, it is just another mask to wear. It is perfectly fine to have a ‘go-getter’ mentality, but at what cost? What would it be like to rest? What would it be like to no longer ignore the pain our bodies feel both internally and externally?

Partaking in rest can be easier said than done. In watching our role models and the key figures in our lives, we see the drive of success more than we see the behind the scenes. Oftentimes we do not see them tire or how they may take some time to gather themselves. Reader, just as you are human, so are they. No one can pour from an empty cup. Find ways to fuel your mind, body and soul. It can seem a bit uncomfortable when one is learning about themselves and I encourage you to not only enjoy that journey, but to also truly be present in it. When this task gets to be too much, then seek wise counsel and ask for help. 

Asking for help can be scary. There is a risk of rejection and a kick to our pride.

Religion and Counseling

‘You can’t look weak. You must portray perfection. You are not feeling those feelings, it is just all in your head. You don’t have to tell your business to a stranger, just pray it away.’

These are the things that may be on repeat in the mind of a Black person, especially the last sentence. Religion plays a big role in our community and there can be some shame in seeking counseling. Well, reader, you are not weak in seeking help. It shows your resilience. Showing up for yourself does not mean you have to be perfect. You are allowed to make mistakes. Your feelings and emotions are real. You can have Jesus and therapy. You can pray and take medication. If anything, God wants you to ‘share’ your business to those that can give you wise counsel. We were made for community and sharing our burdens with one another. So yes, it can be scary to be vulnerable but that outweighs battling loneliness in your situation.

Mental Health FAQ

Therapy is a great resource when you are wanting to seek help but again, I understand any hesitancy that may be present. 

Are there therapists that look like me?

There are many wonderful, fellow Black therapists ready and waiting to assist you.

Are there therapists that have experienced things I have or are willing to work with my specific issues?

I am also sure there are therapists that have gone through similar situations that you would like help with, and that goes for both POC and non-POC therapists. We all have a responsibility to do no harm when helping someone through their journey, even if that means the client will be better served with another therapist.

If I decide to work with a Black therapist, will I be judged or still feel shame on things I should’ve just ‘prayed away’?

The last question is one I am unable to assure you 100%, due to the fallen nature of the world, but I can speak to the space I desire to offer any client of mine. No matter what race, ethnicity or culture you may come from, I will respect you and your background. In understanding what a big deal it is to not only make a counseling appointment, but to also show up, I desire to provide a welcoming and safe atmosphere for your growth to take place. 

Black Mental Health Resources

For those in the Black community that are seeking Black therapists or just interested in more information, please check out

If you are interested in more information about the services I provide, as well as our team, please reach out to us or check out our individual pages to learn more.

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