Two Black women entrepreneurs are on a mission to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health in the Black community and are making history in the process. According to NBC 15, Afiya Hooker and Joanna Johnson recently opened Mobile’s first Black-owned community mental health center.
The center—dubbed Yin Yang Wellness Center—opened its doors in May. Aware of the disparities regarding the accessibility to mental health resources that disproportionately impact the Black community Johnson and Hooker, both licensed professional counselors, wanted to cultivate a safe space for people to embark on their journeys towards restoration. The women are putting the focus on using cultural competency as a vessel to help individuals heal. Yin Yang Wellness Center offers clinical hypnotherapy, individual counseling, group counseling, marriage and couples counseling and family counseling. The center is open to people from all walks of life.
“Mental health in the Black community is very stigmatized. I am very proud that at my own private practice. I have 97 percent BPOC clients but we still have a lot of work to do,” Hooker said in a statement, according to the news outlet. Johnson added they launched the center to “care for all of the mental health needs of other people in the community.” The Yin Yang Wellness Center also gives back by providing underserved families with clothing, toys and other items.
Black women are carrying on the legacy of driving change in their communities. Last year, the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness made history by opening Dane County’s first wellness center designed for women of color. The organization was determined to develop a physical location to provide an array of programming that would be instrumental in combating racial health disparities.