What the “Eff” is going on?
BY ERICK S. GRAY
I remember the day, June 1st, 2013. It was the day my friend shot and killed himself. It was a traumatizing experience for me, fuckin’ surreal. I couldn’t believe someone I grew up with and who’d become my brother would take his own life. A decade later, I still wonder why my friend would commit suicide. It’s haunted me because his family and I will never know why, and I wonder what happened to drive him to that point. But my friend had his ups and downs in life, and like so many black men today, me included, we like to keep things in—keep our feelings and emotions guarded tighter than security at the White House and not talk about it. Everything is always okay with us, the Black man, until it is not okay, and we break, snap like a twig; can’t take this shit anymore, and the consequences become severe. So to talk about it, mental health is like kryptonite in the black community. We choose to believe it doesn’t exist; black people don’t kill themselves. We’re strong and will continue to be strong no matter what because we’ve been through a lot and can handle whatever life throws at us. However, to be a Black man in American society is to be forced to deal with daily psychological stress. For most of us, seeking therapy is like seeing a unicorn; it doesn’t exist.
Read More in the latest issue of Intellectual Ink Magazine. ISSUE 25: Hip-Hop Turns 50 – INTELLECTUAL INK
TherapyForBlackMen.org was born from the idea that Black men and boys face unique challenges and stigmatization, and therefore need a dedicated space for seeking and finding mental health support. We’ve made it our mission to strip away that stigmatization and ease the process of finding help. By providing targeted resources and a database filled with professionals equipped to support men of color, our users can now obtain the help they need and deserve.