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How I'm Preserving My Mental Health as a Black Woman in America

My name is Jasmin Pierre, and I’m the creator of The Safe Place, a mental health app for the Black community. This week, I hosted a virtual event with The Mighty on coping with racial trauma during times like these.

We had a really honest conversation about what’s currently going on in the media with police brutality against innocent Black lives, how it’s impacting the Black community and how it effects my own mental health as a Black woman. I feel it’s important to have these conversations so that people can truly understand how racial trauma impacts the mental health of the Black community, and how police brutality against the Black community is not just something for history books — it’s still very present and extremely traumatic.

Here are some of the self-care tips we discussed. Feel free to add your own in the comments below!

1. Turn off social media and the news if you need to.

How the Black Lives Matter is being covered by the media can be extremely frustrating. Add the constant bombardment of opinions and “takes” on social media (both informed and uninformed), and it can all become stressful. Plug in to learn about what’s happening, but know it’s OK to unplug for awhile.

2. Seek community support.

Take time to speak to those who truly get it. Unfortunately, some people still don’t want to come to terms with the fact that these murders are racial hate crimes. It can be overwhelming to still have people shove inaccurate information about police brutality and current events in the Black community down your throat, when they’re not even well informed and refuse to listen. Finding support and talking to others who get it can be very healing.

3. Take time for journaling and reflection.

Some people in our community still have a difficult time talking about their mental health, because mental health issues are largely still stigmatized in the Black community. Some of us weren’t taught how to express our emotions. So for those who still may not feel ready to speak to someone, journaling can be a great way to privately express your emotions about what’s currently going on.

5. Allow yourself to feel.

You have every right to feel angry, upset, hurt or traumatized by what’s currently going on. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Your mental health matters, and taking care of it during this time is necessary.

The Safe Place app has a section filled with more self-care tips, including a section called “Self-Care During Police Brutality.” You can download The Safe Place app on Android and iOS.

Image via Jasmin Pierre

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