It's July 1st. This means that the mental health of minorities are front and center. Well, for some. Really, like all issues this should be be front and center all of the time.
2020 has been a wild ride and we are JUST starting the second half of the year. I am almost tempted to say "forget the rest of the year." But then I would be giving up on the goodness I know awaits us all this second half of 2020. But I must admit it feels like Jumanji 2.0. Between COVID-19, more unusual weather patterns, 46-1 still in office, murder hornets and the murder of unarmed Black men and women, this year has provided a variety of triggers from those who live day to day with a mental health diagnosis and for some, the events of this year have created symptoms and triggered the onset of anxiety and depression in many.
As we focus on mental health in our communities, we cannot ignore the trauma we carry in our DNA and in our spirits. It has been more prevalent as we add to the "Say Their Names" campaigns. The trauma we carry has been seen more as we demand justice for Breonna, Rayshard, Ahmaud, George, Elijah, and too many more to name. Between being reminded that our Black skin is a weapon and something to be feared to planted rioters and looters there to blame Blacks to the current resident of the White House retweeting videos that exclaim "White Power", who could expect us to operate fully and in our right minds? I for one am tired of pretending all is well. Let's not even talk about how we have to "get it together" to sit on Zoom, Team, and other webinars with our white and/or out of touch black co-workers. I don't know about you, but it is a mental exercise just to be right now.
Our Mental Health is so much more than self-care. Self-care is critical. It's about knowing your boundaries, resting, saying no, finding joy, learning to be okay with yourself. But it also means holding the medical community accountable for access to care in our communities. Our Mental Health is about understanding that being Black or Brown comes with a sh*tload of other stuff that we have to sift through in order to be seen and heard and even then we are not seen nor heard. Our Mental Health means caring for one another, lifting one another up, speaking up for another and speaking up against injustices that find their way to our doorstep for no other than reason than someone else's privilege allowing them to walk away from their responsibilities.
This month, let it be a catalyst and a stepping stone for what we should be doing every day. Check back daily this month as I share resources, tips, books, insights, etc. about how as a people we begin to heal. Because our Mental Health is collective and not just about our individual diagnoses. We have a nation within ourselves to heal.