Mental Health Monday #44: Serena's postpartum challenges, getting a new therapist, hip-hop coloring books, etc.


On last week's Mental Health Monday, Tracee Ellis Ross shared how conquers the world even when feeling like crap, Steven Thrasher shared why seeing a queer therapist is vital for him, Janelle Harris' "For Colored Girls in Their 30s and 40s Who Feel Like Life May Have Passed Them By," and much more. Come get your blessing.


"Serena Williams Opens Up About Postpartum Complications: “Why do I feel so sad when I have a beautiful baby?” by Jessica Bennett [EBONY]

She went on, “I’ve broken down I don’t know how many times. Or I’ll get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, why do I feel so sad when I have a beautiful baby? The emotions are insane.”

"Mental Health Needs Of Black Children Often Fly Under The Radar" by Britni de la Cretaz [The Fix]

A 2016 study found that black and Latino children made 47-58% fewer visits to a mental health professional than their white counterparts, despite similar rates of mental health struggles. This sets black children up for what Dr. Marva Robinson, a licensed clinical psychologist in St. Louis, calls a “permanent domino effect.”

“They usually end up in punitive systems—suspensions, detentions, kicked out of school, expelled or placed in alternative schools,” Robinson told St. Louis Public Radio. “And so, that leads to a very negative trajectory from that point forward. So, higher dropout rates, lower paying jobs, more likely to end up in the criminal system and it just goes on from there.”

5 Tips For Black Girl Bosses To Manage Their Mental Health  by T-Kea Blackman [21 Ninety]


When building a business, our team usually consists of a lawyer, accountant, marketing or business coach, graphic designer and maybe a publicist. Yet, we fail to think of a therapist as a vital part of the team. If your mental health fails, you will put your business at risk. Commit to therapy. It does not mean you are weak. And no, you don't have to have a mental illness to see a therapist.

"As a Young Black Man, Rap Helped Me Deal with Depression When I Was Afraid to Seek Help" by Jesse Bernard [Noisey]

The combination of lines like “I don’t want to think of suicide” on “Heavenly Father” and “Hope they don't kill you cause you black today / They only feel you when you pass away / The eulogy be so moving, we live the scenes of those movies” on “Ronnie Drake” communicated what I was unable to say when I felt my voice was insignificant. Whether it was the brooding nature of "West Savannah" and "Tranquility," where Rashad revealed his suicide attempts and substance abuse, or the lines that helped me deal with the odd "You don't talk how I imagined you would" comment from my colleagues at work, it was the first time an artist had spoken to the entirety of my experience.

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The latest episode of Therapy For Black Girls explores an important question: "Session 40: Do I Need A New Therapist?"

And because you need a break sometimes, check out Bun B's Rap Coloring & Activity Book:

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

Mental Health Monday #23: Ways to beat anxiety, healing via apps, Isaiah Rashad on depression, etc.

Rapper Isaiah Rashad (photo: Genius)

Rapper Isaiah Rashad (photo: Genius)

 Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. On last week's Mental Health Monday, we covered vanity as a form of self-care, ways to calm anxiety, a story from a woman who hates therapy. and Black celebs who've been public with their mental and emotional challenges. Check it out here

Also today on Mental Health Monday: "On Taking Mental Health Days" by Jamond Coaston-Foree


"Why Black Men Need To Speak Out About Depression" by Lenox Magee [SlayTV]

Dr. David Malebranche reported to that, an internist and primary care physician at the University of Pennsylvania, has treated the issue of depression among Black men and agrees that it is largely under diagnosed and that’s because so many of us won’t open up about our feelings.

"Don’t Forget To Check On Your Strong Friend" by Kiara Imani Williams, Esq. [HuffPost]

When is the last time you checked on your strong friend? Your parents? Your mentor? Your pastor? Your life coach? Your professor? The people in your life fill two distinct roles ― fruit pickers and fertilizers. Fruit pickers require you to give of yourself. Fertilizers renew your spirits.

"Isaiah Rashad Speaks On Mental Health: “Don’t Go Through The Problems In Your Head Alone”" by Michelle Kim [Fader]

"Don't go through the problems in your head alone," Rashad writes. "There's nothing wrong with asking for help. The worst thing to do is think ur alone in it."

What if we talked about mental health the same way we talked about the rest of our body?

"Genuinely helpful tips for dealing with anxiety I’ve learnt through CBT" by Ellen Scott [Metro UK]

3. Ask yourself how you’d talk to a friend in the same situation

Anxious people tend to be hard on themselves.

We tell ourselves we’re sh*t, we catastrophise, and we never give ourselves the same level on understanding we’d give a friend.

When you’re facing a problem or your brain’s telling you nasty stuff, ask yourself how you’d respond if a friend was saying what your mind is telling you.

"Could an APP help fight depression? World's first mental health chatbot decreases symptoms two times faster than traditional therapy" [Daily Mail]

It runs through Facebook Messenger, and acts as a personal therapist to help address users' mental health challenges, including depression and anxiety.

Within the chat, Woebot uses artificial intelligence to create natural, personalised and human-like conversations and offer emotional support to users.

"Pikangikum First Nation Suicide Crisis Prompts Funding For 20 Mental Health Workers"

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins is announcing funding for 20 full-time mental health workers for Pikangikum First Nation — a remote community struggling with a suicide crisis and pressing mental health needs from about 380 people seeking counselling.

The mental health workers will be going to the reserve, located near the Ontario and Manitoba border, immediately at a cost of about $1.6 million dollars, Hoskins said.

"Mental Illness Is Far More Common Than We Knew" by Aaron ReubenJonathan Schaefer [Scientific American]

We found that if you follow people over time, and screen them regularly using simple, evidence-based tools, the percentage of people who develop a diagnosable mental illness at any point in their lives jumps to well over 80 percent. In our cohort only 17 percent of study members did not develop a disorder, at least briefly, by middle age. Because we can’t be certain these individuals remained disorder-free in the years between assessments, the true proportion that never experienced a mental illness may be even smaller.

Are you a Black mental health professional? Do you know one? Alex is building a hub for Black wellness. Learn how you can be down.

Do you have a mental health-related story, video, event, or other content we should know about? Hit us up.

Mental Health Monday #16: Being attracted to your therapist, Black boy trauma, self-love, etc.

50 Cent, Chris Lighty, and LL Cool J (image by Johnny Nunez/Wire Image)

50 Cent, Chris Lighty, and LL Cool J (image by Johnny Nunez/Wire Image)

Oh, hey. Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. On the last roundup, we had an update on British R&B singer's journey with depression, a documentary on the mental health of students of color by a Howard University student, mental illness on television, and a NYC psychiatrist that prescribes books rather than pills. Good times. Go have a gander. 

If you haven't already, check out Mogul: The Life & Death of Chris Lighty, the new Spotify series about the life and death of the beloved industry executive who took his own life in 2012. It's brought to you by Combat Jack's Reggie Ossé. Find out more about it here.

If you're in New York, come on out and join Alex at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture this Wednesday, May 31 at #GetSomeJoy: A Blackstavaganza for Mental Health Awareness, featuring Hari Ziyad, Jayson P. Smith, Alise Leslie, Andrew Shade, Danielle Belton, and Darnell Lamont Walker. Get tickets and more information here.


'Mogul': Even In Death, Chris Lighty Takes Hip-Hop To Another Level 

Black Boys Coping With The Trauma Of Watching Black People Die by Dr. Marcus Bright [HuffPost]

There is a secret depression that is rooted in economics that many Black men battle. It is hidden underneath an assortment of layers including an exaggerated bravado, drug and alcohol abuse, misdirected anger, and other forms of destructive behavior. Fantastical illusions are also a tool that is deployed to cope with the humbling realities of an often marginalized existence.

Long Beach approves its first 24-hour psychiatric urgent-care center by Courtney Tompkins [Long Beach Press Telegram]

Long Beach has approved the city’s first ’round-the-clock psychiatric urgent care center, a facility advocates say will provide necessary social services and offer an alternative to incarceration or treatment in hospital emergency rooms where waits can be long and beds are often too few.

Stars Behavioral Health Group, headquartered in Long Beach, will run the operation on contract with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, which operates five similar facilities across the county and plans to open four more this year.

We All F*ck Up: The Importance of Loving Yourself Even When You Disappoint Yourself by Vanessa Lewis [The Body Is Not An Apology]

"Look, the act of self love ain’t never been no easy thing — especially when you’re experiencing copious amounts of scarcity, shame, disenfranchisement, or loss. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a 10 billion dollar skin-lightening industry in countries where the world’s darkest people reside. Forty-two percent of voting women wouldn’t have voted for Donald Trump (an anti-choice, anti-union, anti-poor, pro-war, sexual harassment enthusiast).

And I, processing yet another anguishing break-up with someone who’s made it overtly and painfully clear that they no longer want anything to do with me, would be focusing more on healing, pursuing my goals, and moving through grief, rather than spending my days staring at his Facebook page, miserably pining for his affection and attention, and desperately reaching out to him even when I know better."

You're Attracted to Your Therapist: What Now? by Ruben Castaneda [US News]

What should you do if you’re attracted to your therapist? Suppose you hit it off with him or her and start believing you can be buddies outside the therapeutic setting? Or become overly emotionally dependent on your psychotherapist or psychiatrist?

"I hope something positive will come from dad's suicide" [Lionheart]

There can be nothing more heartbreaking to know that someone you loved was so ill and unhappy that they felt their only option was to take their own life.

But that is what Rob O’Halloran and his sister Lucy must live with: their father John O’Halloran, a successful chartered surveyor and former company MD, took his own life in 2015 after a long struggle with depression.

Demand for youth mental health services is exploding. How universities and business are scrambling to react by David Cribb [The Star]

At age 18, Kimberly could no longer come up with a reason to live.

The Toronto university student locked the door to her parents’ garage, stepped onto a stool in the middle of the room and looped an electrical cord around her neck.

“It’s something I couldn’t explain,” recalls Kimberly, who asked that her last name not be published. “I didn’t understand what was going on in my head . . . You want to give up.”

How to deal with your mental health when the world feels like a scary place [Metro UK]

Having anxiety and obsessive thoughts often boils down to a simple misunderstanding of the level of danger in a situation.

My brain tells me that leaving switches turned on will result in the house burning down, that if I don’t go and check the door seven times before bed I’ll get burgled, and – in the worst times – that if I go outside I’ll get murdered.

Get your tickets HERE to #GetSomeJoy HERE

Are you a Black mental health professional? Do you know one? Alex is building a hub for Black wellness. Learn how you can be down.

Do you have a mental health-related story, video, event, or other content we should know about? Hit us up.