An Atlanta-based psychologist is aiming to change the narrative about Black women and mental health. Through her platform Therapy for Black Girls, Joy Harden Bradford hopes to erase the stigma surrounding seeking help for mental illness within communities of color, the Huffington Post reported.
Bradford has spent most of her career as a college counselor, the news outlet writes. Cognizant of the lack of mental health resources for Black women she was inspired to create a platform to help them overcome the issues that they face. The Therapy for Black Girls platform features a national directory of 715 therapists who specifically work with women of color and has a blog and weekly podcast where women bravely and candidly share what they’ve been through to help themselves and others who have encountered similar experiences heal. The platform covers everything from dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault to emotional eating. It also focuses on the importance of self-care and wellness which Bradford believes is often missing from the mental health conversation.
Since its inception in 2014, the community has grown to have over 32,000 members who are between the ages of 18 and 55. “I wanted to create a platform that allowed Black women to connect to mental health topics in a way that felt relevant and accessible to them,” Bradford told the news outlet. “A lot of us, culturally, have been taught to keep things in-house. So, the idea of going to a stranger and telling them some very personal things feels foreign. Seeing people able to connect so easily with one another is very encouraging, and I know the work I’m doing is making an impact.”
Mental health has been at the forefront of a national conversation and many entrepreneurs of color are creating outlets to address the stigma in the Black community. Entrepreneur Christina Rice created OMNoire; a wellness community that is specifically designed for women of color.