Mental health is more than a hot topic, it is a necessary conversation that needs to be had consistently. Over the last few years, the Black community specifically has dealt with so many changes in their lives.
The pandemic upended us from the office and for a while, we were held up in our homes with little to no human interaction with some people experiencing job loss. People around us were dying from COVID-19 while at the same time we watched racial injustices happening with the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. With the drastic unexpected changes that we were forced to deal with plus the little things we experience on a daily, many of us experienced mental health struggles.
According to data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Black Americans reportedly had elevated rates of anxiety or depressive symptoms in August 2020 and January 2021 (37.7% and 44.5%, respectively) in comparison to white Americans (35.4% and 39.8%, respectively.) While therapy is becoming widely accepted in the Black community, there are some other ways to help improve your mental health.
Here is a list of apps that support Black people with their mental health.
The Exhale app was created by Katara McCarty and it claims that it’s the first well-being app that specifically targets Black, Indigenous, and women of color. Katara created the app after realizing other apps weren’t geared toward her personal experience. "They were so out of touch with where I was as a Black woman in April in terms of the things they were saying and the notifications I was getting," she said in an interview with Byrdie regarding the events in 2020. "The Black community is hemorrhaging, and you're telling me to think positive thoughts.”
Eric Coly is the founder of Ayana, which is a virtual therapy app where users can find the right therapist for them. According to their website, Ayana enables matching marginalized communities with compatible licensed therapists based on their unique experiences and identities across race, gender identity, class, sexuality, ethnicity, and ability.
Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi co-founded the Shine App in 2016 to help people of color. In an interview with Digi Day, the co-founders talked about how the pandemic affected mental health in communities of color. “The most powerful insight that we found from the pandemic, as it relates to mental health, is that it is helping to destigmatize conversations around mental health,” Naomi said. “Our community: they’re saying that ‘I’m talking about my mental health more than I did before the pandemic.’ People are talking about their mental health 52% more than they were before the pandemic because they know that other people are suffering, too.”
Author and mental health advocate Jasmin Pierre created The Safe Place app for the Black community. The free app is to help others who have experienced mental health struggles as Jasmin has. The founder has been open about her experience such as being suicidal and being committed in a mental health institution.
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