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BIPOC MENTAL HEALTH MONTH: RESOURCES


July is BIPOC* Mental Health Month. There is always room to learn and grow in educating ourselves about the lived experiences for historically marginalized people. In this blog post, I share why this is important to me & resources to access mental health supportive services.


*BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, People of Color


Why does this matter to me?


I think of my journey of developing my identity as a black woman throughout my undergraduate experience as motivation to pursue becoming a mental health counselor .One reason I am interested in being a mental health counselor is because of my own lived experience. If a client can see someone who looks like them in therapy, they may feel more comfortable coming to counseling. There have been some "iykyk" (if you know, you know) moments with clients where what was said, didn't have to be explained because we both had the shared identity of being black.


Why should this matter to me?


BIPOC populations face additional barriers that directly impact mental health. These include racism, economic disadvantages, and generational trauma, just to name a few. Everyone deserves access to receive quality mental health services with a provider they trust. Prioritizing BIPOC mental health means acknowledging and addressing these disparities, and striving to provide culturally competent and equitable care to ALL individuals.


OK so how can I take action with my mental health?


  • Recognize if you are not feeling ok today and honor that. Admitting that you’re not ok is NOT a sign of weakness.

  • Take the first step: This could include talking to a counselor, going for a walk, or taking some time off for yourself. Do whatever you feel is best, for you!

  • Check out and try out one or more of the resources below:


Resources


  1. Letters Against Depression - This non-profit organization focuses on supporting those with depression and other mental illnesses one letter at a time. You can request to have letters written to you through their website. Volunteers will then be able to send you letters of hope right to your mailbox 📬 Website: http://www.lettersagainst.org/

  2. The Crisis Text Line - A texting service with trained crisis counselors to respond back to you. Whether you are feeling depressed, battling anxiety or just having a tough time text "Home" to 741741 for free 24/7 support. Website: https://www.crisistextline.org/

  3. Mental Health Screening - These are free online screenings to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression or PTSD (or more.) These screenings are meant to "diagnose" you, but can be starting place for a conversation with a mental health provider, Website: https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/

  4. If you are a college student, I would definitely recommend checking into resources such as counseling that are available to you on campus.


I wanted to highlight free and easily accessible resources, but if you are in a serious crisis I would recommend seeing a professional immediately as they are better equipped to help. You may call or text 988 (Suicide and Crisis Hotline) and they can provide resources and support for you.

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