Dr. Rosenna Bakari, author of The Healing Journey: Relationships and Wellness Guide, will discuss the stigmatization and hesitation in Black communities when it comes to seeking mental health services. Dr. Bakari states:
The Black community prides itself on strength and resilience. So, the focus on “mental illness” doesn’t hit the heart, even when the problem is apparent.
Changing the approach to talk about all aspects of “mental wellness” will have more bandwidth. If we talk about wellness regularly, we will notice when we are “not well’ and talk about that too.
Right now, everything counts as “culture,” and we fit it in. We attribute depression to racism, anxiety to poverty, and psychosis to drug use when we see extreme cases. If we engage in wellness conversations, we can prevent many cases of depression, anxiety, and addiction, and seek proper care when these issues arise.
The time has come to normalize mental health help-seeking in the Black community. One key is to focus on wellness rather than mental illness. This presentation will address how to strengthen the Black community by making mental wellness conversations a part of everyday life.
As an educator, poet, and empowerment expert, Dr. Bakari’s work changes generations. Read more about Dr. Rosenna Bakari here.