Usually, the only way to get a group of black women together to talk about something as serious as our mental health, is during an empowerment brunch or at a wellness conference. Rarely, is there an intimate setting and safe space such as the viewing party (which included food lol) I recently attended hosted by Michelby "CoCo" Whitehead, a Publicist for entrepreneurs and a writer for multiple mainstream blogs such as xoNecole and MadamNoire. Disclaimer, I've never watched this episode or any other episodes previous to the viewing party, but I will definitely be watching more going forth!
Black Women OWN the Conversation, Season 1 Episode 4 is called Mind, Body and Soul. This episode primary focus was on how black women view mental health and seeking help albeit through a mental health therapist and/or seeking treatment and care for their mental health issues, diagnosis and concerns.
Black Women OWN the Conversation, Season 1 Episode 4
In case you haven't watched this show before, allow me to paint a virtual picture for you. The set of the show, is similar to a round table discussion with 100 black women, a moderator Carlos Watson and various panelists: Actress Tina Lifford, comedian and writer Nicole Byer and author and activist Brittney Cooper. According to OWN Network, "Black Women OWN the Conversation" features intimate conversations about important issues with honest opinions and surprising solutions that put people first. Emmy-winning presenter Carlos Watson hosts the panelists and 100 Black women across four episodes focusing on love and relationships, motherhood, beauty, and mind, body and soul." Read more here.
My Twitter fingers were on fire during this episode, which they haven't been in a long time. I thought about my upbringing and some things I've experienced just being a black women that of course, had me nodding my head in agreement during some of the conversation and tears forming in my eyes in other moments. The women in the audience who had the courage to share some of the painful memories in their lives, are to be commended. One of the panelist, Brittney Cooper said basically that:
"You'll go see somebody (doctor) about everything going wrong (eyes, foot, etc.) but you won't go get help for your mind????"
That blew my mind!....and was the most retweeted in my timeline. Her statement was beyond true for myself and so many others. We have been conditioned as a black culture to pray away anything that's wrong in our lives and especially within our minds and that logic is killing us! I am all for praying but I'm also a firm believer that God placed people on this earth (ex., doctors, therapists, healers, etc.), to help us deal with, treat and care for our mind, body and souls.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Offices of Minority Health: 20% of black people are likely to suffer mental health problems.
Take a brief moment and let's admire this beauty in the image. She was the youngest #blackgirlmagic in the room. Her name is Dream, she's five months old and so precious to be around. During the viewing party she had some thoughts of her own of course in baby language but to see her there, gave us a glimpse into the future of black women with children being included in the much needed conversation.
During the commercial breaks, the hostess CoCo, asked us questions regarding dialogue that took place within the show. There were a diverse group of women in the room but we all shared some of the same pain points as black women, our beliefs and our values. Just as you saw healing in this episode from the audience members, I learned quickly that the women in the room where I sat have also healed from some traumatic experiences, pressed through difficult challenges in their personal and professional lives AND seek help from a mental health therapist, when needed.
Regardless, if you agree or disagree with being treated for your mental health diagnosis, talk to someone! Don't let all of thoughts and feelings fester inside of you because black women are dying rapidly due to stress. I want you and I to live a long and healthy life and that includes taking care of our minds. If you have health insurance, check what's included in your plans because most plans will pay for you to see a therapist and you only have to pay a co-pay during your visits.
Dominique Haughton known as The Chic Therapist, is the owner of The Chic Therapist, LLC where she specializes as a personal stylist/personal shopper/image consultant. Her overall goal is to combine both her career and business to heal the total individual. In the future, Dominique plans to become an expert in both areas of mental health and beauty by returning to school to obtain a PsyD in Clinical Psychology. She gave us some great resources for mental health services no matter where you live.
Website resource: www.therapyforblackgirls.com
Self-assessment apps to use: Calm Harm and The Safe Place (black owned developers)
Text HELP to 741741 if you need any additional information
Here's the clip of this episode and as Carlos said, "Let's keep the conversation going."
If you find this post helpful, do spread the word on social media for other black women to read.