In a follow-up to Episode 2 “Self-Care as Self-Preservation,” we take on the topic of mental health. It’s something most of know we need to pay attention to in our own lives, and yet there are a lot of barriers to accessing quality care, especially when we need it most. If you’ve ever wanted or needed to talk to a professional mental health provider, you probably know what we mean.
How do you find someone?
How do you pay for it?
If you are in therapy or counseling, or if you’re prescribed a medication for your mental health, do you talk about it with your friends and family?
We talk openly about our own experiences in therapy, including the challenges we face in trying to find providers who are available, helpful, and likeable–and how we can work to destigmatize mental health and therapy–both in the church and beyond–by being more precise and careful when using language like “depression” and “ADD.” We also take on the mythology that mental illness is caused by sin–and that prayer is all we need to care for our mental health.
What We’re Reading and Listening to
In the wake of tragedies like the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Ashley shares about reading the essay “A Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a poet and counselor who uses art and poetry as a healing practice for people who have experienced trauma. Estes is also the other of the classic feminist psychology text Women Who Run with the Wolves.
Kindreds of the Moment
For this episode’s Kindreds of the Moment, we want to say happy 20th anniversary to our friends at SisterSong, the National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. SisterSong has been lifting up women of color’s voices for decades. They are a powerful force for reproductive justice, especially in the south. Happy anniversary, SisterSong!
- To connect with an Al Anon support group, either in person or virtually, check out their site.
- To find a certified pastoral counselor in your area, check out the American Association of Pastoral Counselors provider guide.
- Read Robyn Henderson-Espinoza’s piece The Silent Stigma of Mental Health Illness in the Church
- If the cost of therapy is keeping you from getting the care you need, look into these 14 Free and Low-Cost Mental Health Resources compiled by Captain Awkward
- Check out Therapy for Black Girls. Run by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, this site is an “online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls.” She has a podcast too!