May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about mental health and wellness. Mental illness does not differentiate among a person’s age, race or sexual orientation. Mental illness affects everyone, including individuals who identify as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Multiracial, Indigenous, and LGBTQ.
Whittier Street Health Center (“Whittier”) recognizes the acute need for mental health services and awareness, and the fact that stigma, implicit bias and racism contribute to racial disparities in mental health diagnoses and treatment. In 2020, Whittier launched two gender-specific BIPOC-tailored support groups: THE DIVAS (Through Healing and Everlasting Determination, Inspiration, Validation and Affirmation we are Stronger) and BRUHS (Building Relationships that are Understanding, Healthy and Supportive). THE DIVAS group aims to repair the wounds of complex trauma and reinforce autonomy, strength and collective identity among women, while BRUHS allows for candid discussions of the challenges Black men face at this time. These support groups remain active today.
In addition to facilitating behavioral health support groups, Whittier supports Mental Health America (MHA)’s, initiative of Tools 2 Thrive, which provides practical guidelines that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation.
- Take Time For Yourself: Self-care is proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels while increasing self-
- Accept yourself as you
- Find what makes you happy.
- Try to be fully present in whatever you are
- Dealing with Anger and Frustration: Anger and frustration are complicated emotions that often stem from other feelings, like disappointment, fear, and Tips for coping include:
- Pause before
- Change your
- Release built-up energy through physical activity or
- Do not be afraid to ask for
- Adapting after Trauma and Stress: Trauma of any kind can be hard on one’s mental health, but working on becoming more resilient can help a person feel more at ease:
- Process your
- Connect with
- Take care of your
- Don’t feel ashamed to ask for
For more information on MHA’s Tools 2 Thrive please visit www.mhanational.org