What Can we do to be mentally healthy in the Black Community?
Intro: we all as black people have endured so much way before the trump administration. Then we experienced 4 years of tyranny, George Floyd, Pandemic, Personal lost and still deal with structural racism in the USA.
So how can we be Emotionally & Spiritually Healthy! How can our Mental be healthy!
Questions to structure our Conversation
How can the church help people with mental health?
How Can We as individuals cultivate healthy rhythms in our life to foster good mental health?
What the Church Can Do!
- Educate: Get the facts. Much of the misconception regarding mental illness begins with ignorance. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior.” While many people can experience mental health issues, mental illness occurs when the symptoms cause frequent stress or begin interfering with the normal functions of everyday life.
- Recognize the symptoms: some general symptoms of mental illness that can indicate a person needs help:
•Excessive emotional responses (extreme worry, sadness, anger) or extreme mood swings
•Confused thinking or an inability to concentrate
•Social withdrawal or the inability to relate to other people
•Changes or difficulties in sleeping or eating
•Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions, hallucinations, paranoia)
•Multiple physical ailments without a physical cause
• Inability to do daily tasks
- Intervene when necessary. People with mental illness often do not understand that they need help. Sometimes they do not want help, even when they recognize that a problem exists.
Address your concerns with the individual in a private, loving, nonjudgmental way.
Provide practical information on where and how the person might obtain help. Offer to go with him or her to an appointment with a health-care professional.
If the person does not seem open to your intervention, cautiously consider talking with a family member, close friend or loved one about the situation.
Create an open dialogue. Don’t be afraid to use the term “mentally ill.” Talk openly about mental illness in classes and services. If you have a personal experience that you are willing to share, do so. Simply knowing that someone else relates can be the key to opening a discussion.
Tips on Caring for you Mental Health
1. Recognize racial trauma as a mental health issue
Racial trauma can be instigated by a sudden violent incident, or by ongoing fear of threat,
symptoms of racial trauma:
•Psychological distress: Distrust, vigilance, existential hopelessness, guilt, shame, shock, anger, self-criticism, rumination, lowered self-esteem or sense of self-worth
•Mental health issues: Anxiety, feelings of panic, depressed mood, irritability
•Physiological issues: Muscle tension, gastrointestinal troubles, cardiovascular health issues
•Behavioral change: Avoidance, procrastination, escape habits (such as substance abuse)
•Worsened executive functioning: Feeling distracted, being generally less able to concentrate or self-organize
2. Find personal meaning to re-establish a sense of control
Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) also suggests the potential for positive change following traumatic life events. This approach acknowledges the resilience and growth that can occur after a trauma, and ways in which an individual can derive meaning from the event that transcends the painful experience.
3. Validate and express your feelings through social supports
•Connect with friends and families who are able to bring joy to your day
4. Take a moment to self-soothe, care for your body, and rest
•Journaling, creating a big list of all the things that bring you joy, writing gratitude’s
•Listening to music, walking, art, prayer, calling family, and reading
5. Connect with your spirituality and faith
Spirituality can provide hope, community, and guidance, and have a profound impact on your emotional wellbeing.
6. Talk about mental healthcare openly where possible
Increasing visibility of mental health issues in Black communities can be a way to combat the stigma around mental health treatment.
7. Remember that the burden is not all on you
Jude 3 Project
Andcampaign.org – Civic & Cultural engagements-
(compassion & Conviction) by Justin Giboney, Micheal Wear & Chris Butler