Mental Health Month
You are not alone.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This month, I'm thinking about how we can better support each other and learn about the impact of mental health in communities of color.
Let's look at some of the key statistics:
Only 1 in 3 Black Americans who need mental health care receives it.
A person of color is more likely to be incarcerated than have their mental health condition identified.
Multiracial U.S. adults are more likely to experience mental illness than adults who identify as any single race.
What this data illuminates is that it is important to consider and understand how race and culture can impact a person's mental health. By better understanding these attributes, we can ensure no one feels alone or without the support they need to thrive in the world. I was inspired by the below quote from American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate, Bebe Moore Campbell, who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other historically marginalized groups.
Because of these stigmas, I was hesitant to share my own mental health journey, but I realized that sharing my journey could help benefit others. In such a fast-paced and high-stress world, I am intentional about taking care of my mental health through meditation, therapy, and working out. Working out is a major stress reliever for me. You can usually find me doing a 6:00 am Peloton ride! It is those weeks that I don’t feel I have the time to work out that are usually the ones where I need it most for stress management. I also regularly meditate. The Calm app has been a wonderful addition to my practice this year. It is amazing what a difference a 10-minute midday meditation can do for me in the midst of a high-stress day. Overall, I do not get self-care and mental health right every day, but it is a priority for me. At the end of the day, I know that I cannot be my best self at work if I am not taking care of my mental health.
As you approach the workplace (and the world), keep in mind that anyone can experience a mental illness. It exists regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Being able to share your story with others can be helpful to your mental health journey and a great way to show others that they are #NotAlone. Let us all work to reduce the stigma around mental illness.