2020 has already been a year of significant change.
In the last two weeks, we have seen the impact of those raising their voices and speaking out against injustice as the Black Lives Matter movement has swept across the globe.
At the Lily Jo Project, we believe that as individuals we have an astonishing capacity to bring about change in our own lives and the lives of others – and that’s why we stand with those fighting for justice.
We also recognise that there are very real and specific mental health challenges that people of colour face each day. Whether that be from trauma associated with racism, racial bias, and microaggressions to limited access to quality mental healthcare services – we hear you and we want to support you.
This article is intended to champion organisations who are doing amazing work to support the mental health and wellbeing of black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups.
While we admit that here at The Lily-Jo Project we do not have all of the answers, we can make a sincere promise to you that we are committed to learning, growing, and making the necessary changes to better support racial and ethnic minority communities with their mental health.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the impact of racism, racial bias, or microaggressions – we recommend the following resources.
Black Emotional And Mental Health Collective
BEAM is an American-based nonprofit devoted to “the healing, wellness, and liberation of Black and marginalized communities”. In addition to the advocacy, campaigning, and training side of what they do, they also provide a free mental health resource library. If you are a teacher, counsellor, or person of colour, we highly recommend downloading some of their resources or giving them a follow on socials for some great insight.
Balanced Black Girl
Balanced Black Girl is an online platform dedicated to creating “a safe space for women of color to have candid conversation about wellness, self-care, and self-love, with a little humor along the way”.
This is a wonderful resource to keep on hand if you want regularly updated podcasts, blogs, and book recommendations. Give them a follow on Instagram here for daily inspiration.
BAATN - The Black, African and Asian therapy network.
BAATN is the U.K’s largest community of mental health professionals for people of Black, African, South Asian and Carribean heritage. They connect people to therapists around the UK and provide free resources and services as well.
They also offer an extensive library of podcast episodes, book lists, book reviews, and content created by their members designed to support their community.
Therapy for Black Girls
Therapy for black girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. They offer women a chance to not only find an appropriate therapist, but also access resources and discussions around mental health without stigma. Therapy for Black Girls was started by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford who is a licensed psychologist, speaker, and founder of the popular mental health podcast Therapy for Black Girls.
Rainbow Noir is a Manchester-based charity, just like us! Founded in 2013, they are doing an amazing job to provide space and voice for LGBTQI+ people of colour in the North West.
Rainbow Noir creates community through meetups and events like art exhibitions and other projects. They also create space for socialising, activism, community organising and ensuring a presence of queer people of colour in Manchester so that everyone feels heard, and seen.
The Chinese Mental Health Association
The C.H.M.A. (Chinese Mental Health Association) exists to provide mental health support to Chinese people who suffer from mental health problems. They recognise that there is stigma in Chinese communities surrounding mental health, and want to provide support services at a local, regional and national level.
They offer a range of services such as befriending, counselling, housing support, employment, financial support, and wellbeing groups. Check out their website for more information on how you can get involved.
Black Mental Wellness
Black Mental Wellness is another US-based platform devoted to “providing access to evidence-based information and resources about mental health and behavioral health topics from a Black perspective”.
On their website, you will find a ton of resources with book recommendations, fact sheets, podcasts, and wellness advice for people of colour.
Sunshine Behavioural Health
Sunshine Behavioural Health is a US-based organisation that provides substance abuse treatment and other mental health services. Their website also features a ton of practical information and resources for those struggling with addiction, PTSD, and depression.
If you are based in the United States, you can find their very practical guide on Mental Health Issues Facing the Black Community to be helpful.
One to Watch: Black Minds Matter
UK-based platform, Black Minds Matter, has been recently set up in response to the murder of George Floyd. Their mission is to, “make mental health topics relevant and accessible for all black people in the U.K”.
We know that people in the black community are disproportionately likely to struggle with a mental health problem and are more likely than average to encounter mental health services. Black Minds Matter aims to connect black people with relevant support services such as therapists, support groups, and mentors.
We’ve added this platform to the list as one to watch. We can’t wait to see how Black Minds Matter evolves and grows this year! In the meantime, give them a follow on Instagram for daily inspiration and advice.
We believe in accessible mental health care for everyone.
We are continuing to share the stories and work of individuals in our communities who are “Being the Change” in different ways. Do you know of a local mental health service or charity that is specifically being the change by supporting mental health for people of colour? If you do, let us know!