3 Highlights from Into America’s Deep-Dive into Black Mental Health

When I heard the episode: “We Gotta Talk About Kanye West” last week, I knew instantly that this was something everyone needs to hear.

While some discussion of Kanye is included, the episode is really about ALL of us. You can listen or read the transcript here:

Just real quick, I’m gonna highlight 3 points that you can’t miss, okay?

1: You can have EMPATHY for someone and hold them ACCOUNTABLE at the same time.

This is not an either-or situation. If you love someone with a mental health diagnosis, that doesn’t mean that you have to allow them to harm you. Boundaries aren’t heartless, they’re the most loving thing you can give someone.

And if you need mental health care, it’s not there to automatically fix all your problems. In fact, some of your work in therapy will be taking accountability for your actions and learning new ways of moving through the world.

2: Ask the people around you how they’re really doing.

Answer honestly when your friends/family ask you. Sure, some people can’t handle the honesty. Notice them and move on. But some people will surprise you! And sometimes, just hearing someone say, “yeah, this issue is hard for me too” will help you feel better.

Bonus: if you both agree to help each other to get help, you’ve taken a step toward turning an acquaintance into part of your support system! Look at you!

Point 3: “You can pray and go to a therapist at the same time.”

People of faith, of MANY communities, have this hang-up about therapy sometimes. Rest assured, there are therapists of every faith tradition, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, and on and on… The benefit of therapy is that you are being deeply listened to and deeply taken seriously. If your faith is important to you, it’s important to your therapist. Ask your therapist how to bring your faith into your mental health work.

There are so many ways to take care of ourselves AND our loved ones, and sometimes we must figure out creative options, but that’s okay as long as we NEVER STOP TRYING. Even at your lowest point, and there’s still hope for you, you still matter, and you can still make a difference.

I hope you listen to the whole recording, and that it helps you feel seen and heard. And if you need help finding a therapist, you can call your insurance, call the national helpline (1-800-273-8255 or 988 starting August 2022), or reach out directly to a therapist. If you’re interested in working with me, you can find me here.

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