Episode 3: Mental Health PSA
As promised, here is the link to the video you hear at the beginning of this episode. You can find it on National Alliance on Mental Illness' (NAMI) website. I will be honest and tell you that before researching for this episode, I had never looked at NAMI or any other mental health agency's website. Yes, I have read blogs and know people in the black creative spaces who are strong mental health advocates. If you are like me and had no idea who NAMI was and how you can reach them, well this is for you. Use the link to find out more.
Why would I be talking about mental health today? Well, the answer is simple; its Mental Health Month and for once, here is a topic that my kind and by that I mean black men, African men, are afraid to address. Growing up in Africa, Sierra Leone to be precise mental illness is for the most part considered non-existent. I am not sure if its due to the lack of a robust health infrastructure or the prevalence of illiteracy and supernatural beliefs. We have made the topic of mental health taboo. I have come to realise that psychological health like so many other issues, affect the African-American and the African community in similar ways. I talk about the "only in America" phrase that Africans use, but I will not dwell on it because that is an entire episode by itself.
My focus today is how mental illness affects the black man. As I mention, there are so many Queens out there advocating for mental health education in the black community but very few Kings. Well, let me rephrase that, I have only found one millennial black man who is a strong mental health advocate. I am of course talking about Alexander Hardy of The Extraordinary Negroes Podcast. If I say I want to list the 45% I talked about on the podcast, this post will be full of Queens. However, you would like to know and follow someone of them, please comment below, and I'll gladly do so.
Let's talk about the numbers people. 6.8 million people is no joke (Mental Health America). Can you imagine an entire nation of people with diagnosable mental illnesses? I would guess not. So, why should it be okay that our people are going through this issue? I literally just rolled my eyes after realising that I just cited a source. Wait do I have to actually do that in an informal setting? Or should I just have given credit to the source? Oh well.
Anyway, I digress. Please brother, do what you must to ensure that your mental being is taken care of. Consider your mental being as part of the equation that is you. I hope someone got something out of this episode today. If not, please share it with someone you think might benefit from it. I am still working on getting on iTunes.
Real Talk: I must have said goodbye over ten times in the end. It was just taking so long to get to the outro. As promised, the podcast is un-cut. So even though I could have edited the drag, I left it in there because it helps make things weird. Below, you will find the websites and organisations I mentioned in this episode:
Disclaimer: I am not perfect, life is not perfect, my blog is not perfect, this podcast is not perfect. If you accept that, welcome. If not, goodbye. I am still working on getting my podcast app and iTunes. As soon as those are up, I'll send out an update. You can find my podcast on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Spreaker.