Mental health has been on Taraji P. Henson's emergency radar lately, as she has been using her platform to take the stigma head-on. She's taking a moment to live where mental health resides, and she is not even close to slowing down, as sis is on a mission to normalize the importance of unpacking our trauma and leaning into our true toxic-less selves.
And she's done so everywhere she goes.
After all, she had shifted her brand to educating the black community on learning to lean into their true selves, inspiring her to tackle mental illness advocacy off-screen. In 2018, she launched The Boris Lawrence Foundation, a mental health nonprofit in honor of her father, Vietnam War veteran Boris Lawrence Henson, who himself, suffered from his own mental health challenges.
But Henson wasn't done yet.
After splitting with fiance, Kelvin Hayden, Henson had a breakthrough. She told The Breakfast Club:
"I haven't said it yet, but it didn't work out. And I tried. I said therapy. Let's do the therapy thing. But if you're both not on the same page with that, then you feel like you're taking it on yourself. and that's not fair position for anybody to play in a relationship. You have to still stand up for yourself and be there for yourself. And that's hard to do if the other person isn't doing their part either. That's why relationships are so difficult. They're difficult."
So, the only thing left for Taraji to do, was to talk about it.
Taraji loaded up her Emmys and grabbed entrepreneur, Tracie Jade Jenkins, and together, they decided to shine a bright light on mental health in a new Facebook Watch show, Peace of Mind with Taraji. The show airs new episodes every Monday and Wednesday, and will feature Henson and Jenkins interviewing celebrities such as Gabrielle Union, Mary J. Blige and Jay Pharaoh, licensed therapists, and everyday people, discussing a variety of wellness topics--meaning, sis took her anxiety and depression, and flipped it into a safe space for the culture.
Tamar Braxton was a recent guest on the show and, as most of us know, she was a perfect topic to divulge into due to her tough year (Braxton tried to commit suicide in July). Braxton opened up about her suicide attempt and began discussing what was going through her mind prior to the act, causing her to break down in tears.
It was then that Taraji said:
"Earlier this year Tamar's mental health struggles made headlines, but we wanted to offer her a safe space to tell HER side of the story."
"I love that she felt safe enough to come here with us. Because anyone that comes here, they are safe. I'm not some celebrity that just slap my name on this talk show. I am literally struggling myself."
And this is the point of this show: to have the open dialogue, to start the conversation. Peace of Mind with Taraji will be another outlet for Henson to raise awareness and change the narrative around mental illness in the Black community. And Taraji is thrilled to step up to the plate.
"Therapy is important because you need and objective opinion. [Talking to] your friends ain't it, baby. It ain't it. Because guess what: your friends are traumatized too, and all they're doing is projecting their trauma onto you."
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Feature image screenshot via Facebook Watch