The following resources are specifically designed to help Black people struggling with mental distress and in need of self-care tools, or information about where to find therapeutic support. When met with a list of resources there is always a risk of feeling overwhelmed, so you may want to work through the information provided here in stages, or pick one organisation or tool to begin with prior to moving on. You’re not expected to read and use everything listed below, instead choose what might help and comfort you best from this range of help and care resources.
Self Care Apps
The following apps are designed to help you relax, practice mindfulness, understand your mental health, recharge and feel empowered.
Resources to help you understand your mental health and look after yourself
These are reading lists, podcasts and other materials for you to work through and reflect on. Some provide information about mental wellbeing and care while others encourage you to take action to look after yourself.
Self Care Readings from POC Classroom
Mental Wellness Information and Resources by Sista Afya
Black Mental Health Resources for #BlackHistoryMonth from Everyone Counts
Supporting Black LGBTQ Youth Mental Health from the Trevor Project
A Black Man’s Guide for Self Care from Let’s Talk Bruh
Radical Self Care: 25 Tips for Black People from Afropunk
Rebel Well: A starter survival guide to Trumped America by Scarleteen (who also provide sexual health advice)
Self-Care Toolkit for Black women from Tribe
Mental health: ethnic minority experiences by HealthTalk
Many mental health and self care resources rightly focus on negative issues and troubling symptoms, but equally positive stories and resources may inspire and heal. Here are some examples to explore
Helping you to help others
Alongside caring for yourself, you may also want to know how to support others in your family or community. This may be particularly important if you’re struggling with your own mental health due to looking after other people. These resources are designed to help you provide assistance while maintaining healthy boundaries.
How to learn Psychological First Aid
Brother, You’re On My Mind toolkit from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and NIMHD
Organisations and Charities Assisting Black Mental Health
These are groups whose mission is to explain Black mental health issues and enhance wellbeing. Some of these organisations also offer helplines or advice services, while others include reading materials or answers to commonly asked questions about mental wellbeing and distress.
Therapists and Therapy Organisations
If you need a therapist the following organisations allow you to find a therapist in your area, and most also have information on their websites about what to expect from therapy, what therapy can and cannot deliver, and how therapy might work for you. Alongside additional mental health resources similar to the ones listed above. Remember, if you want to use a therapist it is fine to call a few first to ensure you feel comfortable talking to them. Many therapists will offer an initial consultation free to check you and they can work together. Some therapists offer a sliding fee scale or may provide some therapy at a reduced cost or free (if you can’t afford to pay the organisations listed above may be able to assist or you can use the resources provided here to help you help yourself). Before you contact a therapist, note the issue(s) you wish to address in therapy (e.g. work stress, childhood abuse, relationship breakdown, racial trauma) and the characteristics you’d like your therapist to have (e.g. caring, empowering, compassion-focused, and/or trauma informed).
Black Mental Wellness (also @BlackMentalWellness on Instagram)
Find A Therapist of Color from InnoPsych
Directory of African American Therapists hosted by Psychology Today
Black Mental Health Resources by State (US) from Ebony Magazine
Self Help Books for Black Folk
Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability by Stephanie Y Evans, Kanika Bell and Nsenga K Burton
Black Mental Health Matters by Aaren Snyder
Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting by Terrie M Williams
Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength by Chanequa Walker-Barnes
For Black Children and Teens
The mental health of Black children and teens can profoundly influence adult issues and trauma. These resources are created to increase self-esteem, build confidence, help children celebrate their Blackness, while addressing distress or wider mental health difficulties. The resources for adults listed above may also contain information you can adapt.
Couched In Colour podcast by Dr Alfiee about young people’s mental wellbeing
Racism and Racial Bullying from Childline
Black Boy Joy: 30 Picture Books Featuring Black Male Protagonists by Charnaie Gordon
Broadening the Story: 60 Picture Books Starring Black Mighty Girls from A Mighty Girl
Engage Toolkit from The Children’s Society
These resources, along with those above, are for anyone who’s been sectioned or an inpatient in a psychiatric ward or special hospital. If you have previously been an in-patient you may require additional therapy due to the trauma of being hospitalised (check with the list of therapists above and request someone that can offer appropriately informed care for you).
Breaking the Circles of Fear report from the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health
The Mental Health Foundation explains more about the prevalence and causes of mental health problems for Black people.
These resources provide information on physical health issues that can also impact on mental wellbeing.
British Heart Foundation’s resources for people of African and African Caribbean Background
Support for Black therapists and other care providers
If you’re supporting Black communities you may need guidance and assistance yourself. Resources below are there to empower you within your work.
Best Practice Working with African American/Black Patients from the American Psychiatric Association
African American Communities and Mental Health from Project LETS
The resources above are specifically created by and for Black people, but the helplines and groups listed here are there if you need advice or assistance in other areas (e.g. bereavement, relationship problems, sexual difficulties, financial hardship).