Mental Health Monday #54: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's journey with depression + activist struggles, praying away mental illness, etc.

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty)

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty)

Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. Last week, SZA's mom dropped some dope advice for stress management, The Root explores the stress of parenting while Black, Colton Wooten writes on the struggle of quitting heroin, and much more. Come on down


"Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson: My secret battle with depression" by Mike Parker [Daily Express]

But the 6ft 5in muscle man was just 15 when his mother Ata tried to kill herself in front of him, months after they were evicted from their apartment.

“She got out of the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic,” he said. Big rigs and cars were swerving out of the way.

"How the Church's Approach to Mental Illness Can Shame the Suffering" Jean Neely [Sojourners]

One of the consequences of hearing those kinds of comments over the years from so many Christian sources was that I felt I was always letting God down. I had read plenty of material discussing various “dark-night-of-the-soul” experiences and some writers’ bouts of serious depression, but those were all passing seasons — limited periods lasting several weeks or months. Mourning lasted for a “night,” but eventually “God came through” for them with “joy in the morning.”

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On the latest episode of Therapy For Black Girls, Dr. Joy Harden Bradford takes on the harmful, hateration-influenced stigma of the "angry Black woman," and gives some advice for anger and stress management.

Check it out: Episode 49: Angry Black Women

See also: Therapy For Black Girls Therapist Directory


"You Can’t “Pray Away” A Mental Health Condition" by Fonda Bryant [NAMI]

I was going on 35 years old, with no clue that I had clinical depression. I had never been in trouble with the police, didn’t smoke, drink or do drugs. But I found myself sitting in the back of a police car on the way to a mental hospital, and I kept thinking to myself, “What had I done wrong?” When I arrived at the psychiatric hospital and called my mom to let her know where I was, the first thing she said to me spoke volumes: “You just need to be stronger.” This is a battle cry for African-Americans.

"Black men, personal libraries, and Black Book Culture" by H. Ramsby [Cultural Front]

One of the most fortuitous yet long-lasting outcomes of my time as an undergraduate exchange student at New York University in the spring of 1998, was meeting Mr. Garcia. In addition to guiding me to several different bookstores in the city, he invited me to his home where I saw his vast collection of books. Mr. Garcia's collection first gave me the idea and goal of someday building my own.

Photo: Hannah McKay (Reuters)

Photo: Hannah McKay (Reuters)

"84 statues appear on London roofs in a startling suicide-awareness campaign" by Jennifer Hassan [Washington Post]

Every week, an average of 84 men in the United Kingdom take their own lives. That's one death by suicide every two hours.

According to the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a charity dedicated to the prevention of male suicide, suicide is the single biggest killer of men younger than 45 in Britain. Three in four of all suicides are male.

"They Push. They Protest. And Many Activists, Privately, Suffer as a Result." by John Elegon [New York Times]

About three years earlier, the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., had spurred Ashley Yates into activism. She would evolve from street protester in her hometown of St. Louis to Black Lives Matter organizer in Oakland.

But Ms. Yates would also feel the pressures of a job that seemed unrelenting: responding repeatedly to the deaths of black residents in communities across America, struggling to win policy reforms that would benefit black people and rallying others to support her causes.

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