May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “Back to Basics.” According to Mental Health America, the theme aims to shed light on how more than two years of pandemic living, stress, isolation, and uncertainty have taken a toll on their well-being.

At Achievement First, we know that navigating mental health during a global pandemic is no small task. Many people have grown tired of the “now more than ever” and “unprecedented times” tropes. But the reality is, they are true. And we know this is especially true for BIPOC communities, people with intersecting identities, and underrepresented populations.

As a result, These groups are disproportionately impacted and particularly vulnerable during times of crisis. Though Mental Health Awareness Month is coming to a close, it is important that we always talk about (and prioritize) taking care of ourselves. Here are a few resources and organizations that offer services to help practice self-care.

Black Mental Health Podcasts to Listen to (Audio Learning and Resources)

There are lots of great health podcasts out there! Podcasts offer people an excellent way to learn more about mental health issues, and the importance of self-care, and provide strategies for taking care of yourself. Luckily, Ayana Therapy did a roundup of five Black mental health podcasts that provide support for Black communities. Click here to check them out (and start listening)!

Mental Health Services

Inclusive Therapists
From InclusiveTherapists.com: Seeking counseling or therapy can be a vulnerable process.
To that, add the challenges that people with marginalized identities face. Neglect, prejudice, silencing, micro-aggressions, and language and financial barriers are just a few. Getting the right help can become an overwhelming task. Moreover, finding a therapist should not feel like a gamble. All people with all abilities in all bodies deserve equal access to identity-affirming, culturally responsive care.

Melanin and Mental Health
From MelaninandMentalHealth.com: Melanin & Mental Health® was born out of a desire to connect individuals with culturally competent clinicians committed to serving the mental health needs of Black & Latinx/Hispanic communities. We are committed to promoting the growth and healing of our communities.

The Nap Ministry
From the organization’s website: Our “REST IS RESISTANCE” framework and practice engages with the power of performance art and community organizing to install safe spaces for the community to rest together. We facilitate immersive workshops and curate performance art that examines rest as a radical tool for community healing. Above all, we believe rest is a form of resistance and name sleep deprivation as a racial and social justice issue.

Articles, applications, and More Resources

15 Resources to Support Mental Health for BIPOC and LGBTQ Students (Article)

Liberate Meditation App (Phone Application by and for BIPOC)
From Apple.com: Liberate is the meditation app for us, by us that is Black-owned. We’re not only just a meditation app. Above all, we’re a safe space for the Black community to develop a daily meditation habit.

Resources for Black Healing (Downloadable Resource Document)
From Harvard.edu and Micalah Webster, MSW/MHSA: Through connecting with my network of counselors, therapists, community organizers, and others just trying to heal and serve, I have pulled together some resources to share. Most importantly, I hope that at least one thing on this list can bring you or a loved one some peace and healing during this time.

Helping children cope after a traumatic event (Resource Hub)
From ChildMind.org: When communities experience episodes of violence or face natural disasters these events are hard to comprehend. We cannot shield our children from pain and fear when they’re exposed to such tragedy. But we can help them process what they’re experiencing in the healthiest way possible.

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