Representation matters. Seeing someone who looks like you on TV, or in a book, or representing you in government is a key component to self-realizing your own unique potential (which was always there, regardless of if society deems you worthy in the moment; you are more than exceptional after all). Mindfulness includes acknowledging how you are able to interact with the world around you through mutual understanding and respect.
And nobody wants to feel misunderstood. The deeply rooted human desire to be known manifests in mental health care too. Trust is a powerful accomplice to the best therapy, and, without it, there are whole chasms of depth and vulnerability that are nearly impossible to reveal.
Finding a mental health clinician that you can identify with – that can truly understand who you are – is not an easy feat, especially given the presence of mental health workforce shortages. It is especially difficult for folks who identify as part of a community that generally stigmatizes therapy and mental health. For example, in this TEDx Talk, Shaun J. Fletcher shares about the social barriers that have traditionally kept African Americans from finding mental healthcare solutions.
The disproportionate toll of harmful practices towards Black bodies throughout medical history only exacerbates the severe issue. Providing avenues for Black mental health care seekers to find therapists who can understand and relate to them on a cultural level is key to seeing healing for all. Empathy disarms stigma, and conversations that make space for understanding are key to change.
Solutions are here though! InnoPsych was founded as a result of this reality, seeking to connect people of color with potential therapists of color through the use of a free searchable directory. Similarly, Ayana Therapy matches users (who can identify from any race/culture/gender) with ideal providers that share their unique traits, values, and sensibilities. Therapy for Black Girls and Therapy for Black Men are other growing options.
Simply Psych celebrates new facets of the mental health ecosystem, especially those that help marginalized groups find better care. Our dream is to see everyone feel better. Promoting the different entities that are committed to improving the mental health ecosystem helps quicken this dream into becoming a reality.
Find us wherever you are.