You’re Not Alone

So for my final project I wanted to really pick a topic that is near and dear to me. At first I was going to pick a more upbeat event to attend. However after doing some research about good topics for a photo story, I came across an event that would be discussing mental health in the black community on Facebook. This topic hit home for me on a personal level. 

I was never one to discuss my problems for the simple reason I grew up in a household where talking was non existent. I barely saw my mom and dad talk and I was never talked to about how to express my feelings as a child, which trickled into adulthood.  

It took me 28 years to finally come to reality that I needed help. I noticed myself always being angry and snapping at the smallest, littlest, tiniest thing. This can’t be healthy right? In the black community the word therapy is a big no no. Many feel like it’s too personal, it's will not helpful or fear being labeled crazy.

The event was hosted by media personality and life coach Kristy Love. The room of the event was filled with some phenomenal panelist.  She had about 6 panelist including a teacher , psychologist, pastor, social worker, and author, who all  insight about mental health and illness. I really enjoyed the open discussions that took place. There was no judgment at all. People were brave enough to tell some deep dark secrets that caused a few of us in the room to cry and empathize with them. We discussed disorders such as depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and ADHD. A panelist  spoke about how depression can start as early in children when they are not given the opportunity to express their self. It also effects girls and boys differently. For example a woman maybe extremely sad which could possibly lead to suicide, opposite a man maybe extremely violent and angry which could possibly lead to a life of crime. 

This event truly opened my eyes to  some of the reasons why mental health effects the black community so heavily. I think it is very important to discuss mental health services not only in the black community but all communities. 


Domonique Russell