Mental Health Resources for Black-identifying Community Members

By: Jonathan Block

Finding mental health resources or a culturally-sensitive, quality provider can be a daunting process. With the murder of George Floyd and other demonstrations of police brutality across the US, access to mental health and wellness resources is especially crucial at this time for Black-identifying people of color. The following list of mental health and wellness resources is curated to support Black-identifying community members.

Resources

Sherry Adams, LCSW, is CUNY School of Public Health’s Student Wellness Counselor. Sherry Adams has over 12 years of experience in social work. Students can request free group or individual counseling sessions by calling (646) 364-9526 or emailing Sherry Adams at sherry.adams@sph.cuny.edu.

New York City’s public hospital system, Health + Hospitals, offers a variety of behavioral and mental health outpatient services at multiple locations. Health + Hospitals serves all individuals, regardless of immigration status, ability to pay, or health insurance status. Call 1-844-NYC-4NYC and let the representative know you are seeking mental health outpatient services at your closest provider. You will be transferred to an intake specialist who will take your information and set up an appointment. Telehealth appointments are available. More information can be found at https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/services/mental-health-services/

Federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) are community-based health providers that receive funding from the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA). FQHCs offer sliding scale fee structures based on ability to pay, meaning that patients can receive care at low rates, or for free, depending on income. Care is not based on immigration status or health insurance status. Many New York City-based FQHCs offer psychiatric and therapeutic services. HRSA’s provider directory can help one find a FQHC nearby: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov

Decolonizing Therapy (Instagram: @decolonizingtherapy) is an initiative formed by Dr. Jennifer Mullan to create a mental health support social network in support of people of color, and, specifically, Black-identifying queer people of color. Dr. Mullan hosts free Instagram Live sessions and offers individual and group therapy sessions focusing on the impact of racism and intergenerational trauma on mental health. Check Decolonizing Therapy out on Instagram at the link above or visit www.DrJenniferMullan.com

Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is the host of the Therapy for Black Girls podcast, aimed at making mental health topics accessible for Black-identifying girls and women. Therapy for Black Girls (www.therapyforblackgirls.com) created a provider directory to help Black-identifying women and girls find culturally-sensitive providers across the US. The directory is available at: https://providers.therapyforblackgirls.com

Inclusive Therapists (www.inclusivetherapists.com), an initiative created by Melody Li, LMFT, seeks to help people of color more easily find culturally-responsive, quality care. Inclusive Therapists has published a directory of therapists offering reduced-fee teletherapy, which is found at https://www.inclusivetherapists.com/reduced-fee-virtual-teletherapy

Dive In Well, founded by energy healer and entrepreneur Maryam Ajayi, offers online experiences, resources and tools for people of color seeking mental health and wellness support. On the offerings section of  www.diveinwell.com one can locate information about e-books, workshops, and online gatherings. Follow Dive in Well on Instagram (@diveinwell) for free mental health and wellness-supporting Instagram Live sessions. Dive in Well also offers #freeswim sessions, which are low-cost donation-based online wellness sessions. Prior sessions have focused on meditation, breathwork, and healing the inner child. Check out Dive in Well’s Instagram for information on future sessions.

Therapy for Black Men (https://therapyforblackmen.org), founded by Vladimire and Benjamin Calixte, seeks to help Black-identifying men find therapists and provides mental health resources. Their provider directory can be found at https://therapyforblackmen.org/find-a-therapist/

After Hours Services

The following services are available to US-based students on a 24/7 basis:

NYC WELL Mental Health Referral and Crisis Resource is New York City’s free mental health service. Students in crisis can call for immediate help. Additionally, students can receive referrals to mental health providers via NYC WELL. To reach NYC Well, text WELL to 65173, call 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) or visit https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/ to chat online with a counselor.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free, confidential support for people in emotional distress or thinking about suicide. To get help, text HELP to 741741, call 1-800-273-8255, or chat online with a counselor at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

The Trevor Project Lifeline (LGBTQIA+ Support) offers free, immediate assistance from trained counselors to individuals experiencing crises, feeling suicidal, or looking for a safe place to talk. To get connected, text START to 678678, call 1-866-488-7386, or visit https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now/ to chat online with a counselor.

For international students please see the list of international mental health support hotlines and helplines by country: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

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