By The Mindly Editors
Let's be real.
We cannot talk about mental health without talking about diversity.
BIPOC stands for "Black, Indigenous and People of Color". This acronym first appeared in 2013, and gradually gained attention for its inclusive nature. Many organizations, such as Mental Health America (MHA), have decided to adopt this term instead of "minorities":
“Mental Health America (MHA) has chosen to remove the word ‘minority’ from our toolkit... Instead, we are using a different designation — BIPOC — that we believe more fairly honors and distinguishes the experiences of Blacks, Indigenous People, and People of Color.”
BIPOC Mental Health Month (formerly Minority Mental Health Month) was founded by Bebe Moore Campbell, an American author and mental health advocate who had shed light on the experiences of underrepresented communities. In 2008, the US House of Representative announced that the Minority Mental Health Month would take place annually, every July.
Research from multiple organizations, including the MHA and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), have confirmed that the BIPOC population is disproportionately affected by mental health issues. Furthermore, research has shown that the BIPOC population uses mental health services less often, often due to cultural stigmas and barriers to treatment.
Throughout the month of July, Mindly will focus on sharing resources that support the mental health of the BIPOC community, as well as highlighting creative content that elevate the voices of underrepresented groups.
But this does not stop here. As a publication, we will continue to work towards making our platform as inclusive and reflective of diversity as possible.
Here, we have compiled a list of resources that help to support the mental health and wellbeing of the BIPOC community:
Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to supporting the mental wellness of Black women and girls. The space strives to present mental health topics in a way that feels more accessible and relevant. The website has a referral tool that helps people find therapists in their local communities. Therapy for Black Girls also has its own podcast, which has been very popular in recent years. The podcast is hosted by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist, who chats about mental health, wellness, and personal development.
Therapy for Black Men is an online platform with referral tools that help Black men and boys find therapists and coaches in their local communities. The co-founders Vladimire Calixte and Benjamin Calixte created this site so men and boys of color would have a dedicated place to visit when seeking support for mental health guidance or professionals. In addition, this site was created to help alleviate the stigmatization associated with men of color regarding therapy in their communities at large. The organization also has a strong social media presence that offer daily inspirations and encourage Black men to support one another
Therapy for Latinx is an online directory of therapists, psychiatrists, community clinics, life coaches, support groups, and more for the Latinx community. Founder Brandie Carlos was inspired by Therapy for Black Girls to create an accessible, Latinx-targeted site of mental health resources. In addition to the directory, the website also provides a space to share stories and experiences and resources for those interested in becoming a licensed mental health practitioner.
NQTTCN is an organization that aims to transform mental health for queer and trans people of color. It provides resources for practitioner development through resource/skill sharing, training, local meetups, webinars, and other digital means, and provides healing justice resources, such as a directory of practitioners and financial assistance through the Mental Health Fund. This organization also supports social justice organizations and advocates for interventions that address the harmful effects of the medical-industrial complex.
Sista Afya is an online community for Black women across the African Diaspora to connect to resources and support each other. This community provides mental wellness education (workshops, professional development, online resources), resource connections (large events to foster connections between service providers and the community), community support (therapy, support groups, etc.), mental wellness merchandise (journals, greeting cards, coloring books, etc.).
Ayana Therapy is an app that matches those with marginalized identities to compatible licensed therapists based upon their experiences and identities across race, gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, and ability. The digital platform removes obstacles like transportation and scheduling by allowing for flexible online communication (texts, calls).
Melanin and Mental Health is an online resource that aims to connect Black and Latinx individuals with culturally competent clinicians and includes a searchable directory of therapists, a podcast that discusses therapy and any relevant topics, and buyable merchandise. This organization also holds monthly events for the community.
Inclusive Therapists is an online resource that matches individuals with marginalized identities with experienced therapists. As a social justice-oriented organization, it also provides resources for therapists and individuals to better advocate for minority communities, such as reduced fees, therapist training support, and inclusive mental health events.
NAAPIMHA is an organization that strives to promote mental health in Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and focuses on suicide prevention among youth, empowering mental health consumers, access to high quality, affordable mental health care. This organization develops consumer networks, works closely with community-based organizations, advocates for public policy, provides cultural competency training and other assistance, and creates fact sheets in a variety of languages, such as Hmong, Thai, Khmer, Mandarin, Korean, and more.
Heal Haus breaks the stigma and stereotype behind the culture of healing with their modern and accessible approach to promoting wellness. They claim that healing is a lifestyle with a need to focus on holistic health and wellness. Physically situated in Brooklyn as a shop and cafe, they offer yoga/meditation classes, workshops, and private sessions, promoting diverse and inclusive wellness services to anyone. They have even adopted socially distanced services in response to COVID-19.
Dive in Well provides a space and opportunity for leaders, influencers, and entrepreneurs in the global wellness industry to come together, partnering and being featured in many different health and wellness brands, small and large. Facilitating both offline and online conversations allows soul-centered wellness to be more accessible to consumers and participants. Maryam Ajayi, the founder of the organization, hopes to destigmatize the culture behind wellness, promote wellness in marginalized communities, and uplift others in her life and through her work in Dive in Well.
Sad Girls Club is both an online platform and a real community dedicated to bring together girls who are battling mental health problems. Founded by Elyse Fox in 2017, the club hopes to provide a safe space of open dialogue on mental health and provide support for a lot of girls who do not have access to treatment. On their instagram bio is a link to provide monetary support for the club but also their blog, a readily accessible collection of personal stories and insightful articles that brings perspective to the public.
BEAM stands for “Black Emotional and Mental Health” and is a community that is composed of people from various professions, including therapists, yoga teachers, artists, religious leaders, lawyers, activists, and many more. They come together with one goal in mind, which is to promote healing and mental health in black communities all over the world. Something that makes their program special is their emphasis on “healing justice.” Through this, BEAM intervenes with generational trauma and violence in black communities by not only actively trying to cultivate resilience and promote recovery but to fully validate and acknowledge the occurrence of these hurtful events in the past and ongoing.
We R Native is a comprehensive multi-media health resource for Native youth, by Native youth. It provides content and stories about the topics that matter most to them. It strives to promote holistic health and positive growth in the local communities and nation at large. We R Native designs their health messages to address the social, structural, and environmental stressors that influence adolescent health; with particular focus given to the prevention of suicide, bullying, STDs, teen pregnancy, and drug and alcohol use.
Ethel’s Club is the first social and wellness platform designed to celebrate people of color through conversation, wellness, and creativity. Founded by Naj Austin, who was inspired by her grandmother Ethel Lucas, Ethel’s Club strives to create safe and healing spaces that focus on the BIPOC community. The club’s digital membership gives access to a global support network, various livestream classes, weekly wellness events, monthly book clubs, and lots of exclusive content centering marginalized voices.
The Asian Mental Health Project, founded by Carrie Zhang, is an online platform that offers various types of resources to support those struggling against the heavy stigma against mental health in Asian communities. The project acknowledges the common misconception that struggling with mental health is a choice and a sign of weakness. It hopes to dispel that belief by educating the Pan-Asian communities about mental health, encouraging people to seek help, creating a safe space to share experiences, and providing resources that are accessible to all.
The Breathing Space, founded by Leeza Joneé, is a safe and welcoming space that hosts group discussion-esque social gatherings for conversations that matter. The founder built The Breathing Space with the goal of bringing conversation back to the social scene, and making uncomfortable dialogue less taboo. The events invite the audience to immerse themselves, fully, throughout the entire discussion, while allowing the host to be the audience and the audience to drive the conversation.
Headspace is a guided meditation and mindfulness exercise app. The company has one main mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. With millions of users in more than 190 countries, the app has successfully expanded the accessibility of meditation techniques so that people from all around the world can experience the benefits of meditation anywhere, anytime. The app is free to download for both iOS and Android devices.
The Safe Place is a Minority Mental Health App geared towards the Black Community. The Purpose of The Safe Place is to bring more awareness, education, and hope to this important issue. Not only can the black community benefit from this app, but also mental health professionals, friends, and family of ALL colors. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Liberate is a subscription-based meditation app that includes practices and talks designed for the BIPOC community. The app has curated content from 40+ BIPOC teachers with a diverse background in lineage, perspective, and approach. The app is designed to support BIPOC people by naming and offering resources for common cultural experiences, including internalized racism and microaggressions.
The BEAM Tool Kit and Resources, provided by the BEAM Collective, contains a series of wellness graphics for personal journaling, relevant articles and videos, and worksheets, such as an accountability wheel and self-care support plans.
Note: This list is not exhaustive.