I first learned about the (even greater than among white folks) stigma of mental illness in the Black community when I participated in a six-week outpatient program at Laurel Hospital. Half the group was African American, and I got to hear their stories, which horrified me. Most of them could not reveal to any member in their family what they were doing (the outpatient program) because the stigma is so deep and tall and wide.
My heart went out to them. Without support from the community, or at least family and friends, how does a person recover?
So I was delighted to hear bestselling author and licensed social worker Terri M. Williams speak at the Mental Health America this summer. She inscribed for me a copy of her evocative and insightful book Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting, with these words: “Be bold and courageous on the journey. Stay strong and God bless.”
I wish you all those same exact words.
Here’s a peak inside Terri’s book…