09th Jun 2020
Mental health advocate Blessing Dada shares mental health advice and resources for minorities suffering through current events.
If you are a Black person or a person of colour, the global protests following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the police in the United States, the traumatic video footage in the news and on social media, reports that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour)/ethnic minorities are at a significantly higher risk of dying from Covid-19 and the emotional labour of engaging on social media right now is all likely taking a toll on your mental health. Blessing Dada is a mental health advocate for BIPOC/ethnic minorities and an award-winning mental health writer. Here Blessing shares mental health advice and resources.
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Through the climate of current events, I am writing this as BIPOC/ethnic minorities may be pursuing justice, intaking, advocating, educating, researching and more. Remember to take care of your mental, emotional and spiritual health. Find your safe spaces to debrief. Keep your energy where it’s fruitful and most vital. Here are some tips I’m using myself.
This is easier said than done, but you do not have to re-traumatize yourself by watching some of the content that is out there. Set time boundaries for social media. Take a break from the virtual world. Excessive use can contribute to anxiety, depression and isolation, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Prevent burnout and emotional exhaustion
This one has been especially hard for me due to how social media operates! You cannot change everyone’s mind, and it is not your job as a black person to convince someone your life is important. Sometimes it is safer and easier just to reasonably block. Know that you are enough and you are valid.
Connect within your community
You may find so much solace in talking to others who look like you during this time. Please don’t hesitate to also reach out to services or other people. This is just the beginning and you’re still here battling. I’m proud of you.
Do something that makes you feel happy
Order that take-away, listen to that new album, watch your favourite Netflix series. Key message? You are not required to always process your emotions publicly
Some resources and helplines:
Pieta House, pieta.ie/contact
SpunOut, Text message support service, 086 1800 280, to get started. Standard SMS rates may apply.
Therapy for Black Girls, therapyforblackgirls.com
Black Thrive, blackthrive.org.uk
The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network, baatn.org.uk
Inclusive Therapists, inclusivetherapists.com
Photography by Unsplash.
Read more: 10 great resources on social media to educate about race, privilege and Black Lives Matter
Read more: 5 podcasts about black and POC experiences in Ireland
Read more: Racism in Ireland: Black Irish women speak out on social media about their experiences
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