Regular acts of self-care and mental health maintenance are essential to professional success.
But the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health notes that Black Americans are 10% more likely to deal with serious psychological distress. And the American Psychological Association reports that the recent instances of racist violence inflict further trauma on the Black community. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police (not to mention the unjust killings of Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and the multitude of other Black men and women who have lost their lives as a result of the United States’ systematically racist law enforcement system) and the ensuing protests and calls for long-term change, it’s vital that Black freelancers and contractors, in particular, know where to go for accessible, culturally competent mental health care.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, cultural competence refers to the understanding that a patient and their therapist’s respective backgrounds, cultures, and identities can have a major impact on their subsequent treatment. Receiving mental health care from someone who holds space for your personal experience is vital, even though it’s often overlooked or deprioritized by mental health care professionals.
We’ve compiled a list of mental health resources that recognize and prioritize the importance of Black mental health, many of which are currently offering reduced, sliding scale, or free treatment.
Therapy For Black Girls
This site promotes the importance of mental wellness among Black women and girls through its podcast, blog, and membership program, The Yellow Couch Collective. In addition to providing Black women with a safe space for conversations about mental health, Therapy for Black Girls also connects users with its network of culturally competent therapists, with options for virtual or in-office (reopening measures permitting) appointments.
Talkspace offers affordable, accessible therapy via text, voice message, or video call to subscribers (plans start at $260 and may be covered by insurance, depending on your provider). On June 1, Talkspace announced the launch of a free therapist-led support group for people affected by racial trauma as well as discounted rates for users who cite racial trauma as when signing up.
Inclusive Therapists aims to connect people of all backgrounds, identities, and needs with mental health care professionals. For those seeking treatment, providers who offer their services at a sliding scale are highlighted in the online directory. For Black and Indigenous therapists working to grow their practice, Inclusive Therapists will list your business for free or a reduced membership fee.
Open Path Psychology Collective
Mental health care providers affiliated with Open Path offer their services at reduced and sliding rates (between $30 and $60 for individual sessions) through the site’s online network for uninsured or underinsured members.
The Loveland Foundation
Founded by academic, lecturer, and author Rachel Cargle, The Loveland Foundation provides Black women seeking therapy with financial support through its Loveland Therapy Fund. Through Loveland’s partnerships with Therapy For Black Girls, Talkspace, the National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network, and Open Path Collective, fund recipients have access to a vast network of mental health care professionals.
This mental wellness startup is offering curated group therapy sessions free of charge to the public. Upcoming sessions include one specifically for antiracism allies and one for Black women and gender-expansive people.
Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation
Founded by Taraji P. Henson and named after her father, the nonprofit’s mission is to change the perception of mental illness in the African-American community. The organization will cover the cost of up to five virtual therapy sessions through its Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign.
Therapy for Black Men
In addition to its searchable directory of licensed professionals and private coaches, Therapy for Black Men offers an array of articles and additional resources on mental health and community for men of color. As of this week, the site announced it will start offering free therapy sessions for people who can’t afford treatment.
This social and wellness club for people of color has a brick and mortar location in Brooklyn. But because of the pandemic, it moved services online and started offering digital memberships. In addition to performances, Q&As, and yoga and meditation classes, Ethel’s Club is offering free, virtual Healing Gatherings for Black folks, which feature therapist-led workshops, poetry performances, presentations and discussions, and a safe space to grieve.
You can continue looking for the right mental health care provider for your needs through the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network and the Black Emotional And Mental Health Collective’s Black Virtual Therapist Network.