These Groups Are Offering Free Or Reduced-Cost Mental Health Care To The Black Community

The recent racist killings ofBreonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd have spurred a worldwide civil rights movement and protests that have made real changes.

However, continuous exposure to violence via media and news reports can and does take a serious toll on mental health—especially for Black people. It amplifies the collective unease and distress felt in Black communities around the country, resulting in stress, increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension, migraines, sleeplessness, and feelings of sadness, anger, fear, and hopelessness, Candice Hargons, PhD, director of the Center for Healing Racial Trauma, previously told Women’s Health.

Not to mention the fact that the novel coronavirus outbreak (which has had a disproportionate impact on Black communities) has also led to a spike in anxiousness and uncertainty.

It’s also worth noting that only 30 percent of African Americans with mental illness receive treatment due to socioeconomic issues (the national average is 43 percent), according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Though it’s just a start, these businesses and organizations are offering free or low-cost mental health resources for the Black community during this time of heightened trauma and need.

Therapy for Black Girls

Founded by licensed psychologist Joy Harden Bradford, Therapy for Black Girls strives to work to remove the stigma of seeking mental health care and helps Black women find culturally competent therapists (pricing varies by provider). Dr. Bradford shares free mental wellness resources in live chats on Instagram and Facebook on Thursdays as well as via her popular podcast.

Therapy for Black Girls also offers the Yellow Couch Collective ($9.99 per month or $99 annually) and members get access to Deep Dives on timely topics, Q&A sessions with experts, and the ability to connect with the community. Currently, the first month is free and all you have to do to join is create an account with your name, email, and password.

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The Loveland Foundation

Rachel Cargle’s The Loveland Foundation is committed to supporting and empowering communities of color, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. It offers a Loveland Therapy Fund to help remove barriers to treatment for members of diverse ethnic and racial groups. It provides financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy. To apply, fill out this online form and wait for confirmation before attending your first appointment.

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The Loveland Foundation is currently raising money for the Loveland Therapy Fund’s 2020 Summer / Fall Cohort.

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The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation

The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which actress Taraji P. Henson founded to honor her Vietnam War veteran father in 2018, has been offering free virtual therapy for up to five sessions to BIPOC during the novel coronavirus pandemic. (It is a “short term opportunity offered to those experiencing a life-changing event related to or triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic” or those impacted directly or indirectly by the injustices against Black people.) Fill out this online form to register and be sure to select a provider in your state.

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The nonprofit’s vision is to eradicate the stigma around mental health in the black community by providing support and bringing awareness to mental health issues.

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Inclusive Therapists

Austin-based therapist Melody Li’s network promises “care from a therapist who gets you.” The directory only includes therapists whose “life and practice are social justice-oriented.” There is a dedicated section for reduced-fee teletherapy so finances don’t have to be an obstacle to care. You can filter therapists by price and location, and get their contact information to schedule a session or fill out your information online and get matched with a provider (lower-cost services available).

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The network is also adding more Black and indigenous providers to keep up with demand by offering sponsored memberships.

Sista Afya

Based in Chicago and founded by Camesha Jones, Sista Afya offers Black women low-cost group therapy and workshops (under $35 per session), free community-wide events, and $10 Sister Support Groups. (If you’d like to come to group and can’t afford the $10 registration fee, email: [email protected].) The online chats cover timely topics and provide actionable tips.

You can register for upcoming events and Sister Support Groups here, however individual therapy sessions are currently full and only accepting existing clients.

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Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund

Writer Sonia Weiser organized a GoFundMe page to provide financial assistance for Black journalists facing financial hardship who are unable to pay for the mental health support they need during this time. Black journalists can apply for money from the fund to be used at their discretion, to see their current therapist, to see a therapist for the first time, or to pay for their medication. So far, the page has raised over $38,000.

Apply by filling out an online form with the specific amount (up to $1,500) requested and all answers are confidential.

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Ethel’s Club

This New York City-based digital community is “designed to help people of color thrive.” Members have access to a full calendar of events, live streamed classes and salons, and more. Click here to join for a $16.99 monthly fee and try it free for one week. Ethel’s Club also offers free healing and grieving group sessions for the Black community. It’s in high demand, so you can get on the waitlist to join upcoming sessions here.

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HealHaus is a wellness space and cafe in Brooklyn, but it also offers live virtual workshops daily (like Breathwork with Thérèse Cator, Founder of Black Girls Breathe), as well as meditation classes and one-on-one teletherapy sessions. Some sessions are donation-based and others start at $10 for a drop-in class or $30 for monthly memberships. HealHaus newcomers can try an unlimited number of classes for seven days by signing up for a trial membership here.

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