Mental Health Monday #52: Watching 'Black Panther' as self-care, dealing with toxic people, etc.


Oh, hey. Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. Last week, singer/songerwriter Keri Hilson joined a mental health panel to discuss her struggle with depression and anxiety that lead to a seven-year hiatus from music, Oprah reports on the effects of childhood trauma, and much more. Come on down.


"Why Watching 'Black Panther' Was a Form of Self-Care as a Woman of Color" by T-Kea Blackman [The Mighty]

So, what does this have to do with the movie, “Black Panther”? It was the first time I saw black women in Africa and in a movie who were of darker skin complexion with braids and bald heads, yet who were so powerful and beautiful. The movie took place in Wakanda, a fictional country in Africa where the advances of sciences and technology were like no other. The women of Wakanda were movers and shakers, and they were not silenced by men.

Dr. Melissa Freeman is a 91-year-old legend. Born in the Bronx, she has been practicing medicine for 59 years, has an infectious smile and outlook on life, and is the granddaughter of enslaved people. Watching her is sure to brighten your damn day. 

"Self-Care is Community Care" by Carmen R. H. Chandler [For Harriet]

None of us lives in a vacuum. We are all connected, and those connections are real. Although it is easy to feel isolated in an increasingly electronic and fantasy-based world, the village philosophy of our ancestors still speaks truth. Each of us is whole and self-sufficient, but together, we are a community. And community is everything.

"11 Things You Absolutely Must Know about Toxic People" By Suzanne Kane [Psychology Today]

You’re constantly forced to prove yourself. With impossibly lofty standards for others like you to live up to, the toxic person puts you in a never-ending state of trying to prove yourself. Once again, no matter what you do, you’ll never achieve the level the toxic person has set as the bar. If you come close, he or she will move the bar higher, making it impossible to ever succeed.

Doreen Lawrence. Photograph: Robert Wilson/Contour by Getty Images

Doreen Lawrence. Photograph: Robert Wilson/Contour by Getty Images

"Doreen Lawrence: 'Mental Health is a big issue for young black men'" by Nick McGrath [The Guardian] 

Some people might think that race relations in this country have improved, but society is not as accepting as you think. Mental health is a big issue within the black community, particularly for young black men. And, at times, if they are in trouble, the police quickly see the criminal side of things. There needs to be more understanding.

Aaaand in case you missed it, writers Shamira Ibrahim (Very Smart Brothas, The Cut, Washington Post, etc.) and Tonja Renee Stidhum (Very Smart Brothas, Shadow and Act, The Root, etc.) joined us to discuss body dysmorphia, depression, anxiety, healing, and what we've gained by taking our asses to therapy. Listen here or on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, TuneIn, or wherever you get your podcasts.

If you have a mental health resource, event, or piece of content we should know about, step into our office. You da bess.