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Mental Health In The Black Community: “Just Pray About It”

Mental health in the Black community is such an unheard of thing. Black people pride themselves in keeping family business between the family and they usually, feel no need to inquire about help in terms of seeking therapy or just getting someone to listen.

For years, we’ve been outcasted and betrayed by people who don’t look like us, that I think it may be hard for us to trust anyone else who doesn’t look like us with our information.

We live in fear of being considered crazy, being considered weird, or just going against the norms. People believe that seeking therapy means you don’t believe in God, but even God wants you to gain clarity on your issue and allow it not to define you.

I have two family members who’ve dealt with depression, I myself dealt with depression. My first thought was to pray about it, but my second was to heal from it, to not let it overtake my body to be set free from my own mind.

Sometimes, we try and reason with ourselves as to why we can’t be considered crazy and why the way we think may just be temporary. However, childhood trauma is a real thing, witnessing abuse, bad treatment, and barely feeling loved is a trickle-down effect.

I know people still suffering from the way their parents loved them as a child, therefore in relationships they don’t know how to distinguish love from abuse.

Just because you are no longer a child, doesn’t mean that you still can’t hurt like one. For years, people will make Black people feel bad about suffering from mental illness and acting as if it doesn’t exist.

Kalief Browder tried to commit suicide 4 times while in Riker’s and no one gave him help, so when he came out of prison he was already out of his mind, and it only took two years for him to actually be successful at his last attempt.

We kill ourselves by being too prideful, by thinking that we’re exempt when it comes to pain and suffering, but we bleed just like the rest.

Black people fear being weak, because we’ve worked so hard to get to where we are. But how can we be strong, if we don’t talk about the issues making us weak. How can we build daughters and sons on the foundation of love and respect, if we have yet to channel our demons? We’re our worst critics, we’re our biggest downfall, it’s okay to seek help, it’s okay to get checked out for mental illness, I know this world has forced us to feel inferior, but who’s going to save us, if we don’t?

Yinde Newby is a Journalism and Communications major on the pre-law track. Yinde currently is a junior in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University. Yinde is expected to graduate May of 2018 but she is also a candidate for early gradation securing her spot on the dean’s list since her freshman year. The treasurer of the pre-law society, eldest of 3 girls, and spoken word artist when does she find time to sleep? She is a Fashionista by day and prepping for LSATS by night. Yinde is dedicated to finishing her undergrad at Hampton and going straight to the city either New York or DC for law school. With dreams of becoming a district attorney for the state of Florida hoping to repair the justice that was lost in the Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman case this dream is very dear to her heart. Restoring justice isn’t the only thing on her agenda; she also wants to open up a non-profit called “L.I.S.T.E.N” for fatherless daughters ages 5-18. Knowing the misfortune of an absent father, she wants nothing more than to fill that void immediately for someone else with positive mentoring and unconditional love and support. Yinde wants to do it all so kids aren’t in her future, her dream as a child has always been to work until she’s no longer helping anyone. Interning for online publications like The Odyssey and College Fashionista Yinde loves to keep her hands busy when she finds the time.Determined, driven, humble and modest Yinde wants nothing more than to give her sisters several opportunities to fall back on. Through faith and her mother’s motivational letters Yinde’s manage to become confident in who she is and what she brings to the table, therefore she isn’t afraid to eat alone.
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