Mental Health Monday #42: Gabrielle Union's therapy, Jonathan Jackson's 2017 lessons, emotional eating, etc.

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Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. On the last installment, Essence highlighted 33 Black and brown women promoting wellness, Monique Judge explored how Black women's sexuality is policed and repressed, how one man uses art when unable to afford therapy, and a new wellness initiative from the First Lady of New York City. Check it out.


That time Jae Nichelle captured the experience of living with anxiety in a poem:

"All the Things Gabrielle Union Uses as Therapy—Including Therapy" by Sarah Jacoby [Self]

Union's new memoir, We're Going to Need More Wine, actually grew out of years of going to therapy, she tells the Times. “There’s a valve at the bottom of my canister where I can let things out in a healthy productive way,” she explained. What does a "healthy, productive" coping mechanism look like? Union says her techniques include: “Skype sessions with my therapist, with friends, silence, sitting out in nature, time with the kids, with my dogs. Watching This Is Us." All of which she says "has been quite therapeutic.”

"Stop calling us crazy: Black women and mental health" by Brooke Leigh Howard

The first time I experienced a major cocktail of anxiety, depression, chest pains, vertigo, cold sweats, and dizziness, I was at work and had to leave early to go to the emergency room. I had no idea what to expect. But later, that trip followed with regular meetings with a psychiatrist and therapist. It was odd, at first, explaining the internal pain, something that you cannot detail enough to someone who cannot sympathize.

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Session 34: Emotional Eating

"This week’s episode features Lisa R. Savage, LCSW. Lisa and I chatted about why Black women often engage in emotional eating, how it’s connected to trauma, and strategies you can use if emotional eating is something you struggle with." 

Listen to Therapy For Black Girls here.

"We’re Not Friends, Just Peers (And Other Lessons From 2017 That Changed My Life)" by Jonathan Jackson [Blavity]

Instead of thinking of your time as a chain that binds, reposition it as a canvas. You control your time, and you use that brush in strokes and dabs and sprinkles so you get the most out of what you need to. Overcommitment is the enemy of your effectiveness.

"How Black Millennials Are Shattering Mental Health Stereotypes" by Nigel Roberts [News One]

One major key to improving mental health awareness is understanding that mental illness is not a personal handicap, Tarry said. That’s a classic factor for older Black generations that have typically avoided seeking help.

“Many still think of mental illness as something to pray away, a weakness that can be overcome,” Tarry explained. “Consequently, we normalize mental illnesses, such as depression, not realizing that a problem exists.”


Therapy For Black Girls Therapist Directory - A database of mental health professionals offering care to Black women

Give An Hour - Licensed mental health professionals donate their services to military veterans, active duty, and their families, as well as those affected by natural disasters or traumatic events.

Crisis Text Line - Free 24/7 text-based support for people in crisis.