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Taraji P. Henson Will Launch New Mental Health Show on Facebook Watch

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What happened: Facebook Watch is teaming up with Taraji P. Henson for a new show focused on mental health, particularly issues that affect the Black community. The show is called “Peace of Mind With Taraji” and starts production in late 2020, according to Deadline. It will be cohosted by Henson’s best friend, Tracie Jade Jenkins. The announcement comes as part of Facebook’s efforts to spotlight World Mental Health Day, which is coming up on Oct. 10.

I’m looking forward to bringing this new talk series to Facebook Watch, where I can continue to create conversation around an issue that is near and dear to my heart. — Taraji P. Henson

The Frontlines: Henson has long been a promoter of good mental health care for all. According to Entertainment Tonight, in 2018 she founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her father. He struggled with mental health issues following his service in the Vietnam War.

Mental illnesses are among the most common health diagnoses in the United States, according to the CDC. While mental health is often ignored or downplayed as a factor in good overall health, it is critical to well-being. Mental health issues like depression put an individual at higher risk for physical health conditions like stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

  • More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in life.
  • 1 in 25 Americans are diagnosed with a serious mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • Mental illness can have many sources including trauma or abuse, biological factors like genetics, alcohol or drug use, and social isolation.

A Mighty Voice: Our contributor, Monique B., urges people to take a hard look at the messages they receive about mental health. “In hindsight, my intrusive thoughts had a purpose and instead of eradicating or dismissing them, I should have been trying to understand them. They were messages from my primal brain alerting me to just listen to my little self who didn’t need self-improvement, but rather self-acceptance and self-love.”  You can submit your first-person story, too.

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From Our Community:

I wish others would listen to me when I say…

Other things to know: Living with a mental health issue can be frightening and feel lonely. Thankfully, you’re not alone, and many others have shared their experiences with coping and even thriving. Read examples here:

How to take action: The symptoms of mental illness are wide-ranging depending on the condition. If you or a loved one are experiencing unusual symptoms, consult with a doctor immediately. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 for immediate help. According to the Mayo Clinic symptoms can include:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Inability to concentrate or confusion
  • Excessive fear, worry, or guilt
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Social isolation
  • Feelings of tiredness or low energy, or sleeping trouble
  • Delusions, paranoia, or hallucinations
  • Lack of ability to cope with stress
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Inability to relate to people or situations
  • Excessive anger or violence
  • Physical presentations like stomach or back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains
  • Thoughts of suicide

Treatments for mental health issues have come far and most conditions can be well-managed. Reach out for help today.

Header image via The Heart Truth / Public domain

Originally published: October 5, 2020
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