While trauma is real, so are hope, resilience and mental health recovery.

Mental health, resilience and mental well-being can be our greatest legacy. While historic and current trauma are real, so is hope and the possibility of being mentally healthy.   

Mental health issues affect everyone no matter their ethnicity, gender, culture, identity or economic status. For Black/African American people however, mental health conditions are compounded because of stigma, discrimination and systemic racism that are woven into the fabric of American society.

Racism is a root cause of many of the stressors that Black/African American communities and individuals continuously face, particularly when it comes to health, housing, education and various socioeconomic determinants, as well as disparities in policing. These challenges, as well as day to day microaggressions, negatively impact one’s mental well-being. Mental health can look, feel, and play out differently for each person.

Hear me, see me, understand my struggle.

Common Mental Health Conditions

Mental Health Services

Call 211 for local mental health counseling, support and crisis response services. If you are in crisis or experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

  • Speak up, Speak Out. As a whole, Black/African American people are likely to become trauma survivors and often hide their pain. There is a cultural tendency for many Black/African American community members to not speak up or recognize mental health needs, which prevents people from seeking help. Older people often bury their generational and traumatic secrets that can add to these mental health concerns. This is often due to the stigma associated with mental illness, brought upon by how community members view mental illness, or how the person experiencing these challenges views themself. Mental illness and mental health conditions are real and treatable, just as physical illness or injuries are treatable.
  • Reach out. The good news is that mental health and well-being are possible and achievable, and so are the positive realities of mental wellness, healing and hope. We can all do our part by reaching out, widening our circle of care and asking for help. We can also help our community grow more mentally resilient by changing how we think about and act towards people living with mental health conditions.
  • Embrace. Help reduce stigma by learning more about mental illness and providing support to someone you know who may be living with a mental health condition. Seeking and receiving help can improve every aspect of our lives – from physical health to family dynamics and personal relationships, to the way we show up for the community.
  • To learn more about what people with mental health conditions are going through, how support can be provided or to get involved with this project, explore StopStigmaSacramento.org, or call 211 to be referred to culturally competent, recovery-focused mental health services.
Conversation Starter

Hey, it seems like you’ve got a lot on your mind lately. How are you?

I just wanted to say that I am here if you want to talk about anything – Can we get together this week? 

I noticed you have missed a few days of school, and I just wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing.

I haven’t seen you in a while! How have you been?

I know life can feel like a lot sometimes, but if you need someone to talk to, I want you to know I am here.

You’ve seemed a little down lately and I wanted to see how you are doing.

I just want you to know I am here for you if you ever need to talk. You’re my friend and I won’t judge you.

I know things have been hard lately; let me know if you want to talk about it. I’m here for you.

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