This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit Magazine.

Statistics show that six percent (4.8 million) of Black and African American people reported having suffered from a mental illness. Yet, only one in three Black Americans who could benefit from mental health treatment receives it — leaving nearly 55% of Black and African American adults with serious mental illness without any treatment.

Are you shocked? You shouldn’t be.

Mental health has been a taboo issue for centuries — especially within the Black community. Most of us grew up with the mindset of keeping family business inside the house. It is just now becoming a topic people are openly discussing, and (some) corporations are doing their part to ensure that their employees’ mental wellness are intact. However, as we know from the news of 2019 Miss Universe Cheslie Kryst’s suicide, high functioning depression, and suffering in silence are real. So, for Black History Month, BetterMe has partnered with Michelle Williams, an advocate for mental health and empowerment. Instead of simply adding colors and patterns that seem to represent Black culture, they have, together, created an empowerment course to help tackle the issue of mental health and to normalize mental health challenges, and advance justice.

The “Black Heritage and Identity” course includes powerful daily meditations, self-worth affirmations and healing sessions created and narrated by mental health coaches and psychotherapists working globally in Black communities. Moreover, the course is supported by Michelle Williams’s personal experience in mental healing, as shared in her “Checking In” book, journal, and podcast.

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BetterMe is honored and humbled to be a part of a global movement to promote inclusion and mental health wellbeing to all. Our apps offer a safe space for individuals in the Black community to connect with their heritage, embrace their identity, self reflect, remain grounded, united, and thrive as a community, said Victoria Repa, CEO and founder BetterMe

In the course, apart from diverse guided meditations, self-worth affirmations, and healing sessions, the program also covers:

  • tools for self-reflection & self-empowerment;
  • fighting prejudice on seeking mental health assistance;
  • the impact of Black representation and identification on our self-image;
  • fostering the sense of community and belonging;
  • generational healing from internalized racism and self-acceptance;
  • building confidence by speaking your truth and making your voice matter.

The free course is now available on the app.

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