An Open Letter To Women: Why Don’t You Get Help?
Mental illness has long been considered a “white people problem” that Black women don’t have to deal with, but the rising statistics around mental illness and suicide in the Black community betray the truth. The assumption that Black women are strong and capable of shouldering everything the world throws at them has caused more damage as it leaves no safe space to admit when they are overwhelmed. Mental health does not discriminate and affects every community, but the struggles inherent in being Black in this world may, in fact, increase certain risks. Further damage is done by the perpetuation of the myth that mental illness is a shameful personal weakness as opposed to the very real disease it is.
Related article: 13 Warning Signs of Mental Illness
Asking the question “Why didn’t you get help?”, Minna B. tackles some of the barriers put in place by culture, fear, stigma and misunderstanding of what mental illness is. She asserts it is important to counter the narrative that Black women should just work it out on their own no matter how painful their feelings are. In this personal testament, she discusses her own journey from a 16 year old suicidal girl to a 25 year old woman coming to terms with her illness and seeking help. She then pens an open letter to Black women that both affirms their magical qualities and encourages them not to suffer alone. Help is available and Black women’s lives and health are worth fighting for.