This is the first virtual conversation I had with professionals from the Mental Health field. Some of the many things discussed were (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) the dramatic increase in Mental Health cases, coping strategies, the stigma surrounding it, and everything else a decline in one's Mental Health entails.
In May 2021, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, my family (mother and three sons) agreed to bless me with their presence and have a candid discussion about living life with someone who has been playing tug of war with anxiety and depression and how it affected them along with an insight into their personal Mental Health battles.
In May 2022, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month and Mother's Day, I had a candid conversation with three awesome women. I chose the topic of Black Women, Black Mothers, and Generational Trauma along with the three women who joined me, specifically, because of the dynamics and intricacies of our family’s history. The four of us share the same grandfather and grandmother and, unfortunately, as is the case with many other families, inherited generational trauma.
In June 2022, in honor of Father's Day and Juneteenth, I chose the topic of Black Men, Black Fathers, and Mental Health because, one, simply put, it needs to be discussed as often as possible until egos and the thought of what others think is thrown by the wayside and one’s physical and mental health become a priority. Two, because so many Black men are hurting and suffering alone in silence.
Until mental health is a daily topic of discussion as is politics, one’s day at work or school—or the frivolous trending topics on social media—the stigma surrounding it will forever remain. Although some progress has been made, and more people are learning the importance of mental wellness and how the declination of one’s mental health can lead to mental illness, more shoulders to cry on and ears to listen are needed to see true change reflected and for true healing to begin. TS