FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C.---May 1, 2019---In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, suicide survivor and mental health advocate T-Kea Blackman is self-publishing her first book, “Saved & Depressed: A Suicide Survivor’s Journey of Mental Health, Healing & Faith”, to highlight her recovery, dismantle the stigma and encourage the African American community to seek treatment. The book will be released on May 14, 2019 and available on Amazon and Kindle.
In Blackman’s debut memoir, she shares how mental health treatment and her relationship with God led her on the path to wellness after being hospitalized for a suicide attempt. Dedicated to offering light during the darkness, she also offers resources for communities of color to address mental health.
“I hope when people read the book that they will not only be inspired but see the value in mental health treatment,” said Blackman. “My community has a lineage of trauma and unfortunately, many people do not realize the emotional baggage that is destroying current and future generations.”
According to The Office of Minority Health, Adult Black/African Americans are 20 percent more likely to report serious psychological distress than adult whites. Adult Black/African Americans living below poverty are three times more likely to report serious psychological distress than those living above poverty. Adult Black/African Americans are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than white adults. And while Black/African Americans are less likely than white people to die from suicide as teenagers, Black/African Americans teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than white teenagers, according to Mental Health America.
Nearly 40% of African Americans use clergy as their primary source of help with depression. However, less than half of African American clergy are trained in counseling, according to the Journal of Christian Nursing.
“I was told to speak in tongues and to pray harder. While those tactics are helpful, it pulled me away from my relationship with God and the church. I felt misunderstood and judged,” added Blackman. “Therapy helped me to realize I can pray to Jesus and talk to my therapist. I do not have to pick one over the other, as they are both beneficial to my mental, emotional and spiritual health.”
Book signings will be held in Maryland on July 6, 2019 and July 18, 2019 in New Jersey. Additional details for Blackman’s book signings are forthcoming. To learn more about Blackman’s events and podcast, visit www.firefliesunite.com and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Fireflies Unite
Fireflies Unite is a mental health media and communications company founded by T-Kea Blackman. Its mission is to bring light into darkness (just like the fireflies) by sharing the stories of those who live and THRIVE with a mental illness in communities of color through its podcast, Blackman’s speaking engagements, books, events, peer support, forthcoming magazine and mini-documentary.
Blackman is available for interviews to further discuss the importance of Mental Health Awareness Month and her ongoing commitment to end the stigma of mental health in communities of color.
# # #