In Healing Colors: A Resource Guide for Minority Women Dealing With Mental Health Stigmas

When The Weight Of The World Is Too Much To Handle We Support Each Other

It’s hard living as a woman of color in America. Often times minority women face unique hardships that are caused by the intersectionality of their race and ethnicity and gender. These subjects of hardship can include wage gaps, hypersexualization, unjust treatment by authority figures, being ignored by medical professionals, and etc. Many times women of color put on a brave face in fear of appearing vulnerable.  It’s okay to not always be strong. In fact about 26.2% of Americans aged 18 and order report to be dealing with mental health issues. However, since many minorities do not seek treatment for mental health issues it is unknown how many adults, especially of color actually have mental health disorders.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s important that we go beyond acknowledging mental health disparities and work on combatting them by making treatment and help more accessible to women of color. One of the ways we can do that is changing the perception of mental health in minority communities. A way to do this is by having authentic conversations with your family, friends, and romantic partners about your mental health. Also by learning what causes mental disorders as some are biological and not always trauma-based. Open conversation and positive yet realistic representations of individuals living with mental health disorders are perhaps some of the best ways to raise awareness around mental health disparities.

 

Places to Look for a Therapist

There is nothing wrong with needing help to deal with the pressures of life. In fact, about 27% of Americans have admitted to seeking therapy. Therapy is a great way to discuss your problems as well as gain the necessary tools needed to help recover from some trauma-related incidents. An issue is that therapy is not always accessible to all because of cost, cultural barriers, or you might not know how to find the right therapist. Luckily, Walker’s Legacy is here to help. We found six easy to access sites that can help you narrow down your search for your therapist match. Black women can access both Therapy For Black Girls and Black Female Therapists to find Black female psychologists. Latinx women can use both Therapy For Latinx and Latinx Therapy. All ethnicities can use both Psychology Today and Zencare. All six sites allow for potential patients to filter therapists buy location, areas of specialization, and if they are LGBT friendly. They also include what insurances are accepted by the therapist along with the cost.

Resources to Learn about Mental Health Disorders

Everyone wasn’t fortunate enough to learn about psychology and mental health in school and that’s okay. There are plenty of free online resources to educate yourself on mental health. Psychiatry Online provides free fact sheets and updates about disorders as they are listed in the DSM-5, the manual that services as the principal authority for psychiatric diagnosis. National Alliance on Mental Illness also provides information and insight on mental health even breaking the topics down by disorder and demographics. Lastly, Walker’s Legacy will be hosting Breaking the Stigma: A Mental Health Digital Summit will be held on May 29th from 10 am to 3 pm EST. You can register here.

Things to Avoid and Remember

It’s important to remember that there are many things that negatively harm mental health causing regression as we attempt to heal. Please note that regression is not the opposite of progression in this scenario and that healing is not always linear. There are various things that people should avoid such as self-diagnosis. If you are unsure about having a disorder or have a family history it is vital that you see a licensed mental health professional. Lastly, avoid blaming yourself for having any mental health challenge or needing to seek help for any trauma. You must free yourself of guilt before you can heal. We are all worthy of happiness and have the power to achieve it. It is up to us to take action and care for our mental health.

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Isha Kamara

Isha is a Communications Intern at Walkers Legacy. She also owns her own brand Iced Out Cosmetics that launched in 2018, which she uses to uplift WOC and LGBT members by using makeup as a tool for diversity. Through Iced Out Cosmetics, Isha has been a member of UMD's Startup Shell Xi Batch, Terp Startup 2019 Cohort, and Do Good Spring Fellowship for Spring 2020.

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