According to Mental Health America (MHA), nearly 20% of the African-American population are more likely to report serious psychological distress than adult whites. History is the witness to the undermined state of mental health in Black Americans. Racial and societal trauma runs like blood in their veins. Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are common in their psychology. Lack of proper trauma centres and inaccessible healthcare facilities only worsens the trauma. This community also experiences ‘microaggressions’ in the form of brief remarks, vague insults, and even non-verbal exchanges.
The recent case of George Floyd brings to light the continuous harassments and racism against the black community. A report mentions 44% of Americans say they personally know someone who has been shot, either accidentally or intentionally. Black adults, comprising 57%, are the majority in this confession. Nowadays, a lot of NGOs or government organisations are providing free and accessible trauma centres. However, the lack of men of colour in these spaces is evident. It speaks volumes about their vulnerability. While black women heal when properly coaxed, the men find it difficult to let go of their rigid corners.
Jermar Perry and Bryant Antoine, friends and alumni of Saint Louis University, are the creators of Village Healing and Writing Circle for Men of Colour. They aim to heal and provide therapy to the men of colour, who are dismissive of seeking mental health help. Their podcast Black Men Tell Village Podcast is a simultaneous effort in healing societal trauma in black men. Losing your family to racist violence and trauma-triggered suicides are heartbreaking to imagine. The social work of the two friends reaches deep within the black communities. It gives a chance for those people to breathe free. This group creates a personal bond with the victims of trauma.
Hence, this initiative aims to heal anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in a personal, healthy, and fruitful way. So, please support to spread this beautiful project in every Black community.