The month of July is designated for Minority Mental Health Awareness and for many Black women, men and children, it is being ushered in with glee. Who isn’t a bit blue these days? Who hasn’t suffered a tad bit of mental collapse following a global pandemic that has pulled us away from our everyday lives and thrust a ‘new normal’ upon us? We’ve seen the inside of our homes, and each other, more than desired and never before has a ray of sun been such a crave.
Workplaces shifted to remote locations which may sound like heaven to some, but it’s a transition. An unexpected stress that altered morning routines, childcare and even lunch breaks. For the Black woman who leads a household wearing an “S” on her chest, that letter can be interpreted as stress, survival or even a sickness that is bred from trying to balance it all.
The challenge for Blacks who need to seek therapeutic help during our times of trouble or ‘secret mental battles’ is that our cultural structure has taught us to rely on the Lord. Take your troubles to church and lay it on the altar, is what we’re often told. Seek counsel with your pastor or doggone it, just be a better Christian.
All of the aforementioned are excellent sources, but our mental health is as important as our physical health. We consult a physician when we our bodies betray us, and we should, too, see a licensed clinical professional when our serotonin levels drop and one day of sadness morphs into one month of gloom followed by a daily routine of the doldrums we simply cannot shake. Don’t feel like the crazy lady. A touch of depression is more common than you would imagine, so feel empowered and seek help.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented obstacles to all health care due to social distancing and mandates to remain shuttered in place. Just this morning, I experienced my first ‘telehealth’ appointment with my primary care physician. While telehealth is an excellent idea for office sufficiency and staffing (and avoiding valet parking), I hated it. It felt stoic and impersonal and not a warm encounter at all. But in all fairness, I eased up after we navigated the technical glitches and my clinician and I landed on a mutual groove. I ultimately sighed a breath that opened a door to have my health care needs met, and as a Black woman, that is an achievement worth celebrating. I cry out loud, “Growth!” This essential worker is making strides in the right direction.
Black women are also essential to our homes and our communities. In fact, there are some people that would argue that women really do rule the world. However, as many mothers sit at home, uncertain about how they will continue to provide for their children and have the strength to fight against racial discrimination toward the black and brown simultaneously, many struggles to see the light at the end of the tunnel. While many of us appear to be strong in certain circumstances, the fact is she can become broken when she feels powerless.
There is no doubt we are all having the same conversations globally inside our homes, that being black in America has become a continued hardship and a burden for most. Now more than ever it’s time to devote to the restoration of the black and brown woman as she is the strength that holds the family together. One woman and one family at a time.
What happens when a woman feels defeated, destitute and her life seems to be dismantled? The answer to that is we make a commitment to build her up, go back to the basics, uplift and empower her to become her best. This is mandatory because she is raising our next generation.
Aerica Karriem, founder of Black Online Therapy is pleased to announce Healing The Black Woman Inside 2-Day Intensive, has moved online and will be held as a virtual event during the Covid Pandemic. This event is focused on the empowerment and elevation of the black and brown woman. The woman that has been let down, left out, and walked over during her lifetime. We are here to help women create and maintain the woman they desire to become no matter what. No matter their current situation, their past or future challenges.
Black Online Therapy's aim is to repair and restore the black and brown family so we as a whole can be equitable and inclusive toward each other. Creating opportunities and solutions to grow together and build relationships unlike ever before. It’s time we become unstoppable and intentional about everything we want to accomplish, and it’s also time to live out our extraordinary gift of purpose that was gifted to each and every one of us, something nobody can take from us.
To register: bit.ly/healingtheblackwoman2020