Annually, BMHA provides over 600 referrals to individuals seeking licensed culturally-competent clinicians for behavioral and mental health treatment.
Over 100 behavioral and mental health professionals receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through BMHA each year. Now, our training division has seminars offering CEUs at a discount for BMHA members.
BMHA provides meaningful, engaging and empowering monthly programming educating Black people on their ability to heal both individually and as a community. Our events empower participants to seek additional help and resources.
The decision this week by tennis champion Naomi Asaka to withdraw from the French Open citing bouts of depression and mental health issues ignited a flurry of tweets, instagram posts, facebook discussions and more. The world realized, Naomi is more than a tennis racket, brand ambassador for TAG Heurer, Sweetgreen, Nissin Foods and the list goes on. Naomi is a powerhouse on and off the court. She is japanese, black, female, activist, and she is in pain. Despite the not so quiet whispers about her private bouts, Naomi shared with the world and us as black people the importance of Radical Self Care. Despite looming fines, compromised endorsements, Naomi found her voice and her transparent selflessness will change the narrative for black women and girls, men, boys, and communities of color.
A few years ago, decorated Olympian Michael Phelps spoke openly and honestly about his mental health challenges and the world stood still. He and his peers were heard and celebrated. Yet when this brilliant young black woman found her voice, the country while not divided was ambivalent. …. Are you serious.. A Black Woman saying yes to radical self care, yes to prioritizing her mental health and wellness and acknowledging her pain is now an issue. Poet, Activist, Audre Lorde wrote “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare” and while this quote is decades old, it is our truth.
Despite progress in recent years, there is still a significant stigma associated with mental health concerns. In the Black community, there is often difficulty acknowledging psychological difficulties. We are clear at the Black Mental Health Alliance that destigmatizing mental health can be achieved by helping people, especially in the Black community, to understand that mental health is an essential part of well-being — just like a healthy diet, sleep and exercise.
And, after over 4oo plus years of race-based trauma, harm and suffering, Black people must be unapologetic in asserting our strengths, weaknesses, fears, and we don’t need permission from the media, or the tennis Federation to acknowledge and embrace our vulnerabilities without guilt or shame.
This is truly a clarion call and it is a call we must answer. Mental Health and Wellness must be at the top of the Black Agenda. The prescription must include traditional and non-traditional treatment modalities, culturally affirming practitioners, healing centered engagement and the very frank discussion about race and trauma.
Our hope for Naomi and the nameless, faceless others who suffer in silence is they find the resources, and that they seek attention from mental health therapists that are aware and affirming of our intersecting identities (i.e., race, class, and gender, etc), and are culturally grounded to assist us in prioritizing our self-care and our healing every moment, every day – early and often.
Naomi, we take a knee with you and close with the Zulu greeting “Sawubona””we see you”… We honor your humanity, share your pain, and listen for your voice. We have your back.
We provide a trusted forum for culturally-competent mental health programs and services for Black and marginalized communities.