The Mighty Logo

Having a Rough Day? Here Are 5 Black Mental Health TEDx Talks to Watch Right Now

Ah, yes. TED Talks, the one thing I tend to gravitate towards whenever I feel my life going up into flames.

What I love about TED Talks is that there’s something for every single situation and life moment that you can think of. Nothing is too niche, and it’s because of that I’m always able to find something to assure me with where I am in life.

As a Black woman who struggles with her mental health, I’m always looking for TED Talks that speak exactly to that. Sometimes self-help books just don’t cut it, and I need to hear advice from people with lived experience, and not just a paid professional. That’s why these TED Talks are my favorite, because they do just that.

I’ve compiled five of my favorite TED Talks speaking specifically to Black people, by Black people, on Black mental health. Hopefully these help you, and if not I’m sure there will be something done soon by a TED Talk professional that will eventually speak to you. 

1. Dying While Black: Links Between Mental Health, Chronic Stress, & Death | Ashley McGirt | TEDx SFU

This TED Talk speaks specifically to the link between stress, mental health, and death for Black folk. This is such a prevalent issue since due to racial stigmas, barriers, and stereotypes, Black folk typically aren’t allowed rest in the same way as some of our counterparts. 

In this TED Talk we get to hear about why preventative care is so important for Black folk with mental health issues, paired with real life experiences and health care facts. Worth the watch.

2. The Black Male Mental Health Struggle | Curtis Jasper | TEDx GeorgiaTech Salon

There’s a mental health crisis for Black men, and Curtis Jasper speaks specifically to that in this TED Talk. In this Black male mental health state of the union, he speaks on the barriers keeping Black men away from accessible health care from mental health professionals, along with what we can do to fight back against it. 

3. Black Folk Mental Health: Generational Trauma, Traditions & Truth | Jelan Agnew | TEDx Delthorne Women

“The more you cry, the less you pee,” is how this TED Talk opens up. I have to say, this one is definitely one of my favorites and it hits close to home. It talks about what it’s like to live as a Black person to have generational trauma passed on to you, not due to negligence or malice, rather this is what our parents knew and did to survive, and now they want the same for us. Generational trauma is based in survival and protection, and that mindset really changes how I look at my own generational trauma. 

4. Reimagining Mental Health Discourse Among African Americans | Shaun J. Fletcher, PhD | TEDx SJSU

Shaun J. Fletcher, PhD, speaks to the ways that we discuss mental health for Black Americans, and how we are actually one of the highest groups to experience mental health issues and not receive adequate or accessible care. This TED Talk is great because it’s full of firsthand experience, in addition to the mental health professional angle as well. 

5. Changing views on mental health in the Black community | Chante Meadows | TEDx King-Lincoln Bronzeville

This is another TED Talk speaking to the way we view Black mental health within our own community. In this TED Talk she talks about our perceptions of mental health in our community and how it ultimately shapes how we tackle mental health. 

Knowing there are so many more resources for Black mental health now compared to what there was years ago makes my heart happy. We still have a long way to go, but this is still a giant leap forward.

Lead image from TedxTalks YouTube channel

Conversations 4