As we celebrate Black History Month beyond February, let's amplify Black voices, share stories, and foster supportive environments that destigmatize mental health discussion. Together, we can break down barriers for individuals and families in need of support to prioritize their mental health. 

By the Numbers: the shortage of diverse psychiatrists and counselors impacts BIPOC individuals needing treatment 

  • The U.S. psychology workforce is 7% Hispanic, 4% Asian, 3% Black, 83% White (APA 2019).
  • Only 2% of 41,000 U.S. psychiatrists are Black (APA 2021).
  • College counseling staff is 61% White and 13% Black (2020 AUCCCD survey). 

How Health Care Providers Can Help Improve BIPOC Mental Health 

  • Cultural Competency Training
  • Community Outreach
  • Increase Representation
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Tailored Resources 

Compass Health Center is continuously exploring ways to cultivate a diverse pipeline of mental health professionals. Understanding these statistics is crucial as we work together to make meaningful improvements in representation and care. Continue reading to listen to insights from influential individuals such as Simone Biles, Common, Dr. Rheeda Walker, and delve into a thoughtfully curated collection of podcasts, discovering new perspectives on mental health, personal development, and resilience. 


Elevating Black Voices: Celebrity Stories  


Simone Biles, Olympic Gymnast 

“It’s challenging to talk about how you’re doing mentally since it’s an invisible injury — people can’t see it, so it’s harder to understand, but I think that’s why it’s so important we feel empowered to open up about it.” 



Common, Musician, Actor and Activist 

"As African American men, we often feel pressure to be strong and stoic, but it's important to remember that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. Taking care of our mental health is essential for our well-being." 


Rheeda Walker, Author, The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health: Navigate an Unequal System, Learn Tools for Emotional Wellness, and Get the Help You Deserve 

“If you (or someone you care about) cannot take on as much as someone else, that does not make you either weak or crazy. You just have to prepare differently and live your life unapologetically for you.” 


Viola Davis, Actress and EGOT Winner 

“Mental Health is our ‘silent’ crisis. There is no shame in speaking out and seeking help.” - Viola Davis, Actress 


Marcus Smith II- Mental Health Activist and Former NFL Player 

Now, for the first time in my life, I am truly mentally tough. Not because I’m ‘acting like a man,’ but because I have rid myself of the stigmas that surround seeking help. I was ashamed at first. But now I know that I am strongest when I’m being helped by those who want the best for me.” 


Photo Sources: Simone Biles –, Common – Los Angeles Times, Dr. Rheeda Walker - Amazon, Viola Davis – Vanity Fair , Marcus Smith II – 


Black Mental Health Perspectives: Podcast Recommendations 

Conversations about mental health are undeniably crucial. Opening up about one's mental well-being not only works towards destigmatizing mental health challenges but also facilitates individuals in accessing necessary care. Whether it's managing the influence of social media on mental health or navigating the distinct obstacles encountered by the Black community, podcasts can serve as valuable resources, offering insights and tools to prioritize wellbeing. Continue reading to explore a curated selection of podcasts and uncover fresh perspectives on mental health, personal growth, and resilience. 


Podcast Name: Therapy for Black Girls 

Host(s): Dr. Joy Harden Bradford 

Podcast Overview: The Therapy for Black Girls podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves. 

Suggested Episode: Session 342: Examining Your Relationship with Social Media 

Episode Summary: This episode explores the connections between mental health and social media usage. Dr. Judith Joseph joins Dr. Bradford to discuss how one can determine what a healthy use of social media looks like, small strategies to unplug without quitting social media cold turkey, and ways to avoid comparing yourself to people on your feed.  



Podcast Name: Black People Die by Suicide Too 

Host(s): T-Kea Blackman and Jordan Scott 

Podcast Overview: The mission of this bi-weekly podcast is simple; normalize the conversation about suicide in the Black community, provide hope and resources.  

Suggested Episode: The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health featuring Dr. Rheeda Walker 

Episode Summary: T-Kea and Jordan are joined by Dr. Rheeda Walker to discuss her book, The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health. Dr. Walker gives practical tips on how to manage mental health while living life unapologetically Black. 



Podcast Name: Raising Joy  

Host(s): Wini King and Dr. Kristen Pyrc 

Podcast Overview: Raising Joy is a part of Cook Children’s Joy Campaign, which aims to encourage hope and resilience among children and teens. The hosts explore topics of anxiety, stress, depression, trauma and suicide in order to bring hope and needed resources to struggling children and families. 

Suggested Episode: Supporting Black Men and Boys with Antonio Igbokidi 

Episode Summary: Antonio Igbokidi joins the podcast to discuss his Barbershop Talk Therapy mental health initiative. Igbokidi started Barbershop Talk Therapy in 2021 as a way to create a safe space for men of color to talk about mental health. The podcast covers why he started this program, why Black men’s mental health is important to highlight, and where he plans to take it in the future. 



Podcast Name: Oprah’s Super Soul 

Host(s): Oprah Winfrey 

Podcast Overview: A weekly podcast where you can tune in to hear Oprah’s personal selection of interviews with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. All designed to light you up, guide you through life’s big questions and help bring you one step closer to your best self. 

Suggested Episode: Dr. Anita Phillips 

Episode Summary: Oprah talks to trauma therapist, minister, and author Dr. Anita Phillips about her NYT bestselling book, The Garden Within. Dr. Anita explains how embracing our emotions rather than suppressing them is the key to living our most powerful life. Blending faith, neurobiology, and her own research, Dr. Anita shows us how to reach a state of emotional well-being. She describes this as our internal garden, our heart, that needs cultivating and that starts by letting ourselves be present in our feelings. 


Full Spotify playlist 


Celebrating Black History Month and Mental Health 

 Each perspective and conversation we’ve explored above offers valuable support, guiding us to navigate the complexities of life with courage and compassion. Let's bookmark the lessons learned and strive to create communities where mental health is not only valued but celebrated every day. Together, let's amplify Black voices and cultivate environments of understanding and support throughout the remainder of Black History Month and beyond. 

Black History Month (2)


Further Reading: 
  1. How to Ask for Mental Health Help 
  2. Why is My Child Refusing to Go to School? | A Clinician’s Guide for Parents of Children and Teens 
  3. How Do I Know Which Type of Mental Health Treatment is Right for Me? | A Clinician’s Guide to Understanding Levels of Care 
  4. Three Ways to Identify Emotions to Help Navigate Your Feelings | A Clinician's Guide for Improved Mental Health 


Brittney Teasdale

Associate Director of Brand Management