If I Could Do Anything:
I would devote my life to supporting students of color whom are interested in pursuing higher education in the field of mental health. There is a great need for psychologists, social workers, and life coaches that look more like our ever changing society.
I would also advocate for appropriate mental health resources in the public schools.There is also a need for adequate training and education provided to police officers (and other individuals) whom come into constant contact with many people suffering from mental health issues.
A lack of proper education and training leaves a large percentage of this population rather vulnerable to mistreatment. I would also promote regular healthy conversations around mental health.
Specifically issues concerning depression. This is such a taboo word-from my own experience, some people of color do not acknowledge the very idea that depression is a real illness. Collectively, the black community is notoriously known for looking down upon those that suffer from depression. We lovingly or angrily tell those suffering to “Shake it off!”, “You’re fine!” or “Don’t be weak”.
Historically, we as a people have experienced so much generational trauma, that the very idea that one of us can suffer from depression is hard for many to grasp. So much so, that even many not of our community (I’m thinking specifically in the healthcare field) may not listen to our concerns as quickly they would a non black person.
This myth of black folks being larger than life, almost mythical has proven to be detrimental to our overall mental well being.
Quiet as its kept: I actually believe that I can do anything. Writing about this very topic is near and dear to my heart-the very concept of discussing depression on such a public platform would have left me weak in the knees two years ago. But not today, today I move forward standing in my truth. May you go forward in your own. Peace and blessings.