- Jennifer Stafford
People of Color & Mental Health
Do you ever wonder why this is even a term? What gets in the way of people just being people, all part of the same human tribe? There are far too many answers, so this is not truly a question, now is it?
The way in which our society has been set up, it requires us to discuss the significance of honoring one's humanity as a person of color. Who is a person of color? Ultimately a human being just like everyone else, but in the short, anyone that identifies themselves as such. Psychological openness and permitting oneself to seek emotional help can be frowned upon in certain cultures and customs in populations of color. So what do those human beings do with their emotions? Many rely on prayer and generational traditions, guidance and advice to get them through challenging emotional circumstances. There is no wrong way to feel, just an ineffective and effective way to handle ourselves when we are feeling a certain way. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself if how you operate yourself is effective or not? Is it working as you desire? Are you emotionally where you want to be in life?
There are some people that are raised with therapy being a normal part of their upbringing. Checking in on and prioritizing mental health for some is routine in their lives. They have a familiarity with disclosing their life pain and hurt to a professional for emotional help and support. How effective their therapeutic experiences were and are is a different discussion. It is the understanding of how pivotal mental health well-being is that needs to be disseminated amongst communities of color. Your mental health matters. It is equivalent to you understanding that you matter in your life. Often times when people speak of privilege, the undercurrent of the message is rooted in one feeling like they matter and another feeling like they do not.
Did you know that you matter? If you are a person of color, it is only human for you to honor your humanity. Everyone matters; because of the way in which our society is set up some feel like it more than others.
Remind yourself when you forget.