Image by Brandon “B Mike” Odum
As we reflect on all that happened and is celebrated in Black History Month, Soul Wellness Social Support & Therapeutic Services would like to take time to celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of those who have curated spaces for faces like ours to seek healing. They did hard things when there was no path forged for them in the face of great adversity, so we can be in commUNITY with one another, CONNECTing BIPOC people to BIPOC Wellness Professionals, not just in wellness spaces but in every space. Journey with us through HIStory, HERstory, & Y(OUR)story, as we pay homage to these incredible pioneers and explore their invaluable contributions.
Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint
Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint is one of the most important people in Black mental health history. He’s a Columbia-educated psychiatrist and expert on race relations who has done important research on mental health and race, including looking at racism as a construct of mental health. He helped make sure that Black people get mental health care that respects their culture. From his experience with racism in social situations at Columbia to being the only African-American enrolled at Cornell in 1956, Dr. Poussaint’s personal journey fueled his passion for studying the role of race in mental health.
He has played a crucial role in ensuring that mental health care services are culturally sensitive and accessible to Black communities. Alongside his team, he provided medical aid to civil rights activists and facilitated the integration of healthcare institutions in the Southern United States. Dr. Poussaint’s contributions to the field of mental health and his writings on race and cultural diversity have been extensive.
Dr. Joy DeGruy
Dr. Joy DeGruy is a renowned authority on the enduring effects of racism and slavery on the mental well-being of African Americans. She authored the book “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” to raise awareness about the historical trauma that continues to impact the community. Dr. DeGruy has also devised innovative approaches to aid individuals in their healing process and enhance their resilience. Her work has made a significant impact on numerous individuals and communities across the globe.
Dr. Joy Harden Bradford
Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is a mental health expert who wants to help Black people feel better. She created a famous podcast and therapist directory called “Therapy for Black Girls” which talks about mental health problems Black women go through. Dr. Harden Bradford works hard to help people get rid of the shame they feel about mental health and find care that’s right for them.
Her work has turned the field on its head by promoting equal access and availability of care for women and providers of color. By doing so, she has eradicated the marginalization and power imbalances that previously existed in healing environments.
The Next Steps in BIPOC Mental Health
Even though things have gotten better, Black people still have trouble getting mental health care that respects their culture. Many Black Americans, BIPOC People and members of the African Diaspora have mental health problems, but they have a hard time getting help because of racism and discrimination. The trailblazers who laid the groundwork for Black mental health care helped make things better for future generations.
As our society becomes more diverse, it’s essential to have therapists who can relate, understand, and help our commUNITY of people using their culture as a background. By having culturally competent Wellness Professionals, we can help ensure that our CommUNITY has access to the support they need to thrive and live fulfilling lives, with in the CommUNITY, by its CommUNITY members.
That’s why Soul Wellness is building a wellness collective for YOU, the person who has been looking for a place to be seen, heard, valued, respected and most of all belong. We are aware of the need for Social Support & CommUNITY, and we are bridging that gap and meeting OUR communities needs, with this safe space to walk y(our) healing journey. You remain the expert in y(our) life and partner with a Wellness Professional who serves as a subject-matter expert with whom you will co-curate a wellness journey where you will not have to walk alone but can walk through together, step by step.
Jessica and Romilla launched this initiative to provide both the Wellness Professional and person seeking wellness services with CONNECTion to CommUNITY and access to ComPASSION for where you have been and where you are going. This affinity space has proved to provide marked increase in quality of life, for both the Wellness Professional, looking to earn a fair living wage, to enjoy a work-life balance. As well as you, the client who wants to, “say less” in session and not have to explain your experience or teach your provider about your culture and just CONNECT, be authentic and walk y(our) healing journey in commUNITY!
Because of what those who have gone before us, the ancestors, if you will, we now have both words and increased access to remove stigma, banish burnout, normalize the soft life, and heal! At s have done and because mental health has been stigmatized, there has been a lack of access and stereotypes surrounding mental health. Fortunately, Soul Wellness, Social Support & Therapeutic Services we are not gatekeeping good care, but increasing access, and giving the cheat codes to wellness. We are a boutique practice, that believes in providing more access to quality services, accepting insurance, morning, evening, and weekend hours to that you don’t have to work hard to get the help you, need, we know healing is hard work, so we have done the footwork to make this work for you. We support game changers. Just know we want to make sure you feel safe and visible, on y(our) healing journey. We provide individual, couple, family, and group therapy services to those that need them.
Contact us today if you have any questions or would like more information; we’re here to help you!