Dear SPIRIT Community,

As we celebrate Black History Month, we honor the rich and diverse contributions of Black individuals to our world. This month serves as a reminder of the resilience, creativity, and strength of the Black community throughout history.

At the SPIRIT lab, we believe in elevating the voices and experiences of Black people who live with a mental illness. As racial trauma, disparities to access mental health care, and systemic injustices persist, it is critical to recognize the enduring challenges in which black communities in the United States face, while also celebrating the advancements made to support a more inclusive and just society for black people.

As part of our commitment to recognize black pioneers in the mental health movement, we want to advocate for proper representation of black achievements in the mental health space. We honor Black and African American individuals like Dr. Beverely Green who pioneered intersectional psychology and illuminated how different facets of a person’s identity impact their mental health. We also highlight the work of Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark, the first black person to earn a doctorate degree in psychology from Columbia University. We are thankful for the breadth of black scientific and psychological contributions throughout history. To learn more about their work, among many other black mental health pioneers, click here.

Although Black History Month should be at the forefront of our societal focus year-round, we hope that this month can be a time for self-reflection and growth, as we seek to acknowledge Black Americans for their role in advancing the mental health movement.

Thank you for joining us in celebrating Black History Month!

 

View the resources below to learn more about Black History Month and how you can be involved:

  1. https://mhanational.org/black-history-month
    • Mental Health America provides a comprehensive list of resources to both educate and provide information on resources geared toward black communities for Black History Month.
  2. https://mhttcnetwork.org/centers/global-mhttc/black-history-month
    • The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network (MHTTC) provides a comprehensive list of resources and upcoming events during the month of February for Black History Month
  3. https://www.counseling.org/publications/counseling-today-magazine/article-archive/article/legacy/the-historical-roots-of-racial-disparities-in-the-mental-health-system
    • Read here to learn more about the historical roots of racial disparities within the mental health system in the United States.
  4. https://www.mhanational.org/issues/black-and-african-american-communities-and-mental-health
    • Learn here about mental health disparities and other societal factors that disproportionately impact the Black community.
  5. https://beam.community/
    • Visit BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective) to learn more about upcoming events and mental health resources geared towards advancing black social justice within the mental health care system.
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