A June 12 study found that in the weeks following the killings of George Floyd, the mental health of Black Americans took a stunning toll. 41 percent of screenings found Black people testing positive for depression or anxiety, soaring five full percentage points over just the previous week.
It’s another burden for Black Americans, who were already disproportionately suffering from a higher risk of the novel coronavirus, and it’s another reminder of the profound importance of the mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of Black people in America. Fortunately, there are tons of people out there speaking into this subject with conviction and expertise, combining research, faith, history and the arts to help Black people protect their wellbeing even when it gets difficult.
The following list is by no means definitive or exhaustive, but these are just a few voices well worth having in your social media feed to make sure you’ve got some Black spiritual, mental and emotional health experts on your timeline to provide you with wisdom to keep you grounded and growing.
Dr. Anita Phillips
Dr. Anita is a counselor who strives to encourage, educate and empower people in matters of mental health issues in their relationships, work and lives. She offers all sorts of great resources for people looking to get a handle on their mental health.
BJ Thompson is the author of A Better Him and A Better Her. He’s a growth strategist and an expert transformation coach who helps people become better versions of themselves with helpful tips, advice and insights.
She’s the host of the Faith & Mental Wellness Podcast and hosts a terrific blog where she writes articles and curates conversations about the intersection of faith and mental health.
Morgan Haper Nichols
Morgan Harper Nichols is an artist who creates art out of other people’s stories, with an eye towards how those stories might comfort, encourage, empower and inspire others. She’s a unique and exciting voice, creating a space that’s all her own.
Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis
Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a licensed psychologist, a minister and an artist who specializes in psychology and has a passion for empowering the disenfranchised.
Tate is the lead pastor of Made For Fellowship Church, host of Preaching Masterclass, as well as being a speaker, communicator and author. He was recently published in Letters to a Birmingham Jail: A Response to the Words and Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Stephen A. Green
As one of the nation’s youngest civil rights leaders, Stephen A. Green has led nonviolent action campaigns across the country and is the Senior Pastor of Heard AME Church in New Jersey. His timeline provides a lot of resources for a robust spiritual life.
Angela Manuel Davis
Davis is more than just a fitness instructor. Her unique style of training unites body and mind to help people wrap their heads around the ways their mental and emotional health is tied to their physical health.
Dr. Earlanger Turner
As a licensed psychologist and assistant professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, Turner is an expert in mental health for Black people. His new book African American Mental Health: Innovations in Research and Practice explores the subject in detail.
Dr. Tony Evans
Dr. Tony Evans is a best-selling author, pastor, speaker and the president of The Urban Alternative, which is a ministry built to restore hope in communities through the Bible
Léonce B. Crump Jr.
Leonce B. Crump Junior is the founder and senior pastor of Renovation Church in Atlanta, author and international speaker. He focuses on intentional cultural renewal and redemption in our world.
Dr. Wizdom Powell
Dr. Powell is director of the University of Connecticut’s Health Disparities Institute and an expert on the mental health of men in particular. She helps normalize the prioritization of mental health for men and hosts important conversations on what that prioritization might look like.
Michael Todd is the lead pastor of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is the author of Relationship Goals and has a desire to represent God to the lost and to make Jesus the center of culture in order to see change come to the world.
Natasha Sistrunk Robinson
As a speaker, leadership consultant, diversity and mentoring coach, Robinson is especially good at helping others unlock their leadership potential. Check out her most recent book A Sojourner’s Truth.
Leon is the author of Book About Things I Will Tell My Daughter and God Wears Durags, Too, and specializes in making music and telling stories for Black people that center around issues like race, masculinity and mental health. You can read more here.
Trillia Newbell is a speaker and author of If God Is For Us, God’s Very Good Idea and other books. She’s the Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Kevin Cokley, Ph.D.
As a professor at UT, Cockley’s expertise in the field of Black psychology has focused on helping Americans rethink the way we look at Black students. He’s the past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Black Psychology and the Director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis.
Joy Harden Bradford
Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is the founder and host of Therapy for Black Girls, which is dedicated to providing mental health resources for Black women. She is also the resident psychologist for Oprah Magazine.
Alex Elle is the author of After the Rain, coming out October 13th and the host of The Hey Girl podcast. She’s an advocate of healing through the practice of journaling, which you can learn more about here.
Rache Cargle is a writer and is involved in The Loveland Foundation which is committed to showing up for communities of color; curator of The Great Unlearn which is a community of people who have a passion for curiosity and is the founder of Elizabeth’s bookshop and writing center that highlights marginalized voices.
Manny Arango is a storyteller, revivalist and has a passion for people who don’t have a voice. He is the co-founder of Arma Courses, an outlet that creates theology courses and seminary level Bible content.
Stephanie Ike is a faith communications expert, author, pastor and is the host of The Same Room. The Same Room is a talk show and podcast that highlights unconventional topics of faith with a variety of guests.
Pastor YPJ is a teacher, motivational speaker and pastor of FAM Center. You can also check out his music on his SoundCloud.
Dr. Irishea Hillard
Dr. Irishea Hillard is the senior pastor of New Light Church, host of the Inner Circle Social and the founder of Sheroes League to bring women together to lead and live in their purpose.