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Mental Health

Black Girls Smile, Inc. focuses on Black female mental health

Black Girls Smile, Inc. was founded in 2008 to provide mental well-being resources for Black females, especially young women.

The nonprofit offers programs that can be brought to schools and organizations including “SHE’s Mentally Prepared,” “Black Girls are Magic” and other workshops. 

Lauren Carson is the executive director and founder of Black Girls Smile, Inc. and shared her story in a letter posted on the website.

After being diagnosed with clinical depression at 15, Carson found a lack of awareness within the African American community and minimal resources for her as a young Black woman.

“I want to make it my life’s work to ensure others did not experience the same difficulties and were provided the resources and support to lead mentally healthy lives.”

The organization also offers resources including names of other organizations focused on African American mental health, crisis lines and ways to find a mental health professional.

In January 2020, the Charlyne McFarland Therapy Scholarship was established to honor Lauren Carson’s late grandmother, who worked providing social services to vulnerable and under-served communities. This scholarship provides coverage for two to six months of therapy sessions.

“Through BGS programs and initiatives, we work to raise mental wellness awareness, promote mental wellness education and encourage mental healthiness, all crucial initiatives to ensuring all black girls smile,” Carson said in her letter.


Cara is a Sophomore at Mizzou studying Journalism and Political Science with a minor in Peace Studies. She loves journaling, handwritten letters and nature. You can find her listening to indie or worship music and slam poetry. Cara is also a Cincinnati, Ohio native and lover of Skyline Chili and Greater's Ice Cream.
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