FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 9, 2018– In an effort to draw attention to mental health within the African American community during Mental Health Awareness Month, therapist and podcast hosts Dr. JaNaè Taylor (Minding My Black Business Podcast) and mental health advocate, speaker and suicide survivor T-Kea Blackman (Fireflies Unite Podcast) created the Black Mental Health Campaign starting on May 7, 2018. The goal of the campaign is to ensure black and brown people are a part of the mental health conversation by promoting black mental health podcasts and resources. Podcasters will cross-promote and tweet while listening to each other's shows, using hashtags #MHMonday #BlackMH (along with any other relevant hashtags) on Twitter and Instagram every Monday in May to engage with those who may not talk about mental health. The campaign also consists of non-podcasters who are mental health professionals and speakers that will share their services and products.
“It is my hope that we can make #BlackMH and #MHMonday trend every Monday throughout the month of May, provide resources and show that sometimes, it takes more than prayer to work through mental health challenges,” said T-Kea Blackman.
Suicide has become the third leading cause of death among black people between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Due to the negative stereotypes on mental health, blacks are less likely to receive treatment. Blacks of all ages are more likely to be victims of serious violent crime than those that are non-Hispanic whites, making them more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Blacks are also twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, which was found in a study by the American Psychological Association.
Together Blackman and Dr. Taylor secured the participation of 15 podcasts hosted by black mental health professionals and advocates (Therapy For Black Girls, The Honey Be Podcast, A Different Perspective, Supervision Support, The Purpose University, Between Sessions, The Mindful Rebel, Talking Off The Couch, A Date With Darkness, 4 Sistas Podcast, The Love Junkie, The Evolving Chair, Melanin and Mental Health and Vanquis HER).
“Our goal is simple, we aim to highlight culturally curated mental health resources for our black community. We chose our podcasts as the platform as narratives have a strong tradition within black culture,” said Dr. Taylor.
The name “Fireflies Unite” was birthed through Blackman’s realization of seeing what the “mental health secret/stigma” did to her and communities of color. Fireflies come out at night and create a beautiful light. When people battle with a mental illness or struggle emotionally, they often isolate themselves and are left in a place of darkness. By normalizing the conversation about mental health within communities of color, she is bringing light to darkness to foster healing and mental wellness.
“While there are many amazing podcasts for black mental health they are often from the perspective of mental health professionals. I created the “Fireflies Unite” podcast to give voice to those who are living and thriving with a mental illness. As a suicide survivor, I wanted to connect with others who survived suicide, lost loved ones to suicide and were misunderstood because of their illness, said Blackman.
The “Minding My Black Business” is a movement and podcast dedicated to the mental health of black entrepreneurs. The goal is to engage, inform, and support other black entrepreneurs as they manage the business of work. To learn more about “Minding My Business,” visit the website at www.mindingmyblackbusiness.com.
Connect with “Minding My Black Business” on social media @mindingmyblkbiz and “Fireflies Unite”@firefliespod on Instagram and Twitter.