As we know mental illness is still a very taboo subject in the black community. Not only are many African Americans not willing to speak on it, but a lot find it to be a personal weakness. "Black people don't go to therapy we pray about it" or "depression is a weakness, stop complaining about your life" is thrown out there a lot.
I have come up with a plan to help educate the black community more on mental illness. Starting April 24th I am offering two classes: "You can pray and see a therapist" and "Black people do get depressed"
Both of these classes are week long courses designed to help educate, inform, and involve more of the black community on the stigma we face with mental illness.
By Jasmin Pierre, AFROPUNK contributor
The class "You can pray and see a therapist" will help teach people in the church the spiritual and medical aspect of depression. Many people in the church see depression as just a demon and not an illness. (This is especially true in many black churches) This class is to help bridge the gap. Both medical standpoints and biblical scriptures will be used to help others in the church realize you can still love God and get help for your illness. That God gave us doctors for a reason.
The class, "Black People do get depressed" is designed to help the black community overcome stereotypes as it relates to mental illness. They will learn more about the many issues we face as black men and women as it relates to depression and suicide. This course is to help reduce the stigma of mental illness in black families, to help learn more ways to start the conversation, and to reduce the shaming of other black people who want help for their mental illness.
Both classes have homework assignments, and we will have an open forum in a group chat to further discuss what happens in each class for that week.
I'm doing this because we have a serious global issue here. The world health organization just announced that depression is now the highest medical disability worldwide. However many are still not willing to receive help. Stigma is still very prevalent within all backgrounds, but it seems to still be a really big stronghold amongst black people. This needs to change. I want to continue to wake up my brothers and sisters.
These classes are only valued at twenty dollars (each). The first ten people to sign up for either course will receive a five dollar discount on that particular class.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, to sign up for one or both classes.
Photo via thinkstock
*Jasmin Pierre is a Depression Life Coach, Mental Health Activist, Motivational Speaker, and author of “A Fight Worth Finishing”. She is from New Orleans, Louisiana. Jasmin is constantly fighting for the rights of those suffering from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. You can visit her website www.keepfightinglife.com if you're interested in depression coaching services.
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