Taking care of your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical health. Not only are we still dealing with a public health crisis, but we are also in the midst of a mental health crisis. In particular, the financial, emotional, and social stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic are exacerbated for communities of color, who are also dealing with the compounding effects of systemic racism.
At NSVRC, we focus a lot on health equity, which our partners at Prevention Institute define as “everyone [having] a fair and just opportunity to attain their full health potential and that no one is disadvantaged, excluded, or dismissed from achieving this potential.” We know that health inequities, or unequal access to health resources, impact Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and their ability to seek affirming, healing care — for both physical and mental health.
For many survivors of sexual violence, finding mental health support is a crucial part of their healing journey, but due to health inequities, mental health care is often inaccessible — or not culturally relevant — for BIPOC survivors. In order to help advocates provide resources on mental health support specific to BIPOC communities, we’ve compiled the following list. NSVRC’s racial affinity group, the Racial and Cultural Equity (RACE) workgroup, contributed to this resource list.
Validating the Impact of Racism on Mental Health
The day-to-day effect of experiencing racist micro- or macroaggressions has a severe impact on mental health. The following resources validate the connection between racism and mental health:
- Understanding racial battle fatigue from The University of Utah
- African American Mental Health from National Alliance on Mental Health Bucks County, PA
- 2021 Mental Health Report from Stop AAPI Hate
- Racism and Mental Health from Mental Health America
- The Mental Health Effects of Racism from New York State Office of Mental Health
- Race Based Trauma Resources and Support in Times of Civil Strife from the City of Alexandria, Virginia
Readings on Self-Care & Healing
Star athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have modeled that it’s okay to take time for yourself and prioritize your mental health. These articles and blogs describe the importance of self-care for healing:
- The self-care section of POC Online Classroom contains readings and resources on the importance of self care, mental health care, and healing for people of color and within activist movements.
- Resources for Self-Care, including Black-led resources for mental health, from Harvard University
- 18 Women on What Self-Care Looks Like in the Age of Isolation by Sydney Gore
- Embodying Survivor Justice: Centering Black, Indigenous, People of Color Healers and Healing from the Breathe Network
- It’s OK to Pause: 27 Resources to Support Black Mental Health by Juliana Ukiomogbe
- Self-Care and Support Materials for BIPOC from Texas A&M University School of Law
- Reimagining Self-Care For Black Folks by Kelechi Ubozoh
- Naomi Osaka’s ‘No’ Is Our Summer Master Class in Self-Care by Allison Gaines
- Self-Care as an Act of Resistance interview with Stephanie Y. Evans
- What Simone Biles Teaches Us About Black Self-Care by Chante Gamby
- 6 Black Therapists on the Best Ways to Practice Self-Care Right Now by Cortne Bonilla
- What Your Body Has to Do With Social Change by adrienne maree brown
- Healing, Self-Care, and Youths’ Civic Leadership by Veronica Terriquez, Betania Santos, and May Lin
- Making Self-Care Tactical — Why You Should Focus on Boundaries, Not Just Bubble Baths
- Dr. Cicely Horsham-Brathwaite's Instagram
Organizations & Service Providers
The following organizations provide sexual violence, domestic/intimate partner violence, and/or mental health support for BIPOC survivors:
- Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA) has a listing of local and national organizations that serve BIPOC survivors in their resources section.
- The National Alliance on Mental Health New Hampshire maintains a list of treatment directories and mental health resources for BIPOC and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
- The Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) is a national organization focused on healing and wellness for Black communities. They sponsor healing space events; fund grants; and provide trainings for students, advocates, activists, and organizations.
- The Asian Mental Health Collective works to dispel stigma and overcome barriers to make mental health care accessible for Asian communities.
- MeToo Movement’s resource library includes a listing of organizations that provide rape crisis services. Various filters allow you to search specifically for agencies that serve BIPOC survivors.
- Mental Health America creates toolkits and resources each July for BIPOC Mental Health Month.
- Love With Accountability curated a list of BIPOC Survivor-Led Orgs & Collectives that address ending violence.
- MassGeneral compiled a list of local resources, mental health providers, online support groups, and self-guided virtual resources that support BIPOC mental health.
- Academics for Black Survival and Wellness offers healing workshops and opportunities, as well as a directory of Black training and wellness consultants.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides a list of Black mental health resources and treatment directories.
- Taking Back Ourselves compiled a list of mental health resources for women of color.
Finding a Therapist
Finding a therapist who is culturally competent and understands how racism impacts mental health can be challenging. These resources provide tips and referrals for finding a therapist or counselor:
- 7 Tips for Finding a Culturally Competent Therapist — from Someone Who’s Been There by A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez
- 21 Mental Health Resources for BIPOC (and 5 Tips for Finding the Right Therapist for You) by Chelsea Candelario
- BIPOC Mental Health Resources from To Write Love on Her Arms
- Mental Health Resources for People of Color and Indigenous People by Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson
- Therapy for Black Girls
- It’s Hard to Search for a Therapist of Color. These Websites Want to Change That. by Christina Caron
- How to Find a Culturally Sensitive Therapist by Kayla Hui
- Connect with a Therapist from Black Mental Health Alliance
- Latinx Therapists & Speakers
- 16 Directories for Therapists of Color from Inclusive Therapists