Supporting Black Men’s Mental Health

Active Minds
Active Minds

This June, in honor of Men’s Mental Health Month, we recognize the importance of Black men’s mental health. That’s because Black Americans are half as likely as their White counterparts to receive the treatment that they need for mental health disorders, as systemic barriers to access and cultural stigma lock them out of the resources they deserve. Recognizing people heal in different ways, we’ve compiled a list of resources for Black men to find support, community, and safety.

For those who heal through community building: 

  • The YBMen Project is a culturally-sensitive, private social media group on Facebook and Instagram providing mental health education and social support to young Black men using information and prompts from social media and pop culture.
  • BEAM Organization is hosting an online support session for Black men and masculine individuals to vent, grieve, and heal together.
  • Ethel’s Club is an online community to support creators of color, and has been named the “social club that could spark the next renaissance.”

For those who heal through understanding:

  • Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation has a network of trained Black therapists available for free online sessions. To get involved easily, text NOSTIGMA to 707070 to begin their intake process.
  • For queer Black people, NQTTCN’s online network connects QTPOC with QTPOC therapists. Most of the resources are paid; some therapists in the network have begun donating their time or giving reduced rates to clients.

For those who heal through listening:

  • The Steve Fund’s videos chronicle the individual stories of Black young people and Black men afflicted with mental illnesses.
  • Black Men Speak  hosts numerous open mic nights, where Black men share their stories of mental illness through spoken word poetry, song, and more.

For those who heal through reading:

  • Each Mind Matters works hard to improve mental health equity through culturally responsive resources and programs, including curated resources and stories specifically for Black Americans.
  • Through research and programming, the AAKOMA Project helps diverse teenagers and their families achieve optimal mental health through dialogue, learning, and the understanding that everyone deserves care and support.
  • Standing in the Shadows by John Head explains the role of mental health in Black men’s lives by describing his personal twenty-five-year struggle with depression and why it went unnoticed for too long.
  • The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health by Dr. Rheeda Walker provides a blueprint for learning to navigate an unequal system and learning to harness tools for emotional wellness.

For those who heal through learning:

  • Rachel Goodwin’s article about Racial Battle Fatigue puts words to the day-to-day feelings of hypervigilance, grief, and anxiety that are common among Black men. 
  • Brandon Johnson’s YouTube video was created just two weeks ago and discusses the ways that Black people can start to heal after witnessing injustice.
  • The Nap Ministry on Instagram examines the liberating power of naps, believing that rest is a form of resistance.

For those who heal through educating:

  • A2MEND educators utilize scholarly and professional expertise to foster institutional change within the community college system with a focus on the success of Black American male students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • NIMHD has a treasure trove of resources to host events and lessons on Black men’s mental health. Known as Brother Your On My Mind, the program offers materials for fraternities and concerned students to build healthier communities, together. 

We hope the resources above will serve as a starting place for many Black men to find the support they need, when they need it.