Unfortunately, we’re witnessing a lot of senseless violence against African Americans today. This is just one of the many reasons why it’s important to be more educated in regards to Black Mental Health. It’s also why there are some tips that should be heeded to improve upon the mental health status of those within this community.
View Racial Trauma as a Mental Health Issue
The mental health community defines trauma as “a psychological reaction to an intensely distressing experience.” Racial trauma, therefore, is marked by experiences that are racially driven. These are things we’re witnessing a lot more of today. By giving a name to these things we’re able to make sense of them both emotionally and physiologically so that we can address them better.
Re-Establish a Sense of Control
Trauma’s negative impacts on mental health are well-documented. However, what isn’t as well-documented is the potential for positive changes to occur after trauma happens. This shouldn’t minimize the trauma’s impact though. It should help counter any sense of helplessness by re-establishing a sense of control. Some ways of developing this sense of control include posting on social media, voting, donating to nonprofit agencies, and otherwise getting involved.
Validate and Express Your Feelings
It’s important to understand that your feelings are valid. Instead of suppressing your emotions and becoming angry find social supports who will serve as an outlet for them. This will keep your emotions from feeling so intense that they overwhelm you. Simply by talking to someone you’ll feel safe and supported so that you may even consider joining groups to advocate for change.
Take Care of Yourself
You’re probably experiencing a wide range of emotions – all of which are valid for you to feel. However, you can’t allow these emotions to take over your life. Instead, you need to find a way in which to ground yourself even though the world around you is in upheaval. Some things that may help you include music, exercise, praying, reading, or spending time with others.
Connect with Your Faith
Spirituality provides a sense of hope, community, and guidance. These are things that can profoundly influence your emotional wellbeing.
The Bottom Line
Black Mental Health isn’t something we can afford to not address today. It’s important that we help African Americans learn how to better care for their mental health. Taking the aforementioned tips is an important first step in this journey.