IN RECOGNITION OF MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH...

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and here are some African-American celebs that I applaud for helping to erase mental health stigmas by publicly sharing their struggles pertaining to their own mental health. During the launch of her new nonprofit (Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation) aimed at combating the stigma around mental health in the African-American community, actress Taraji P. Henson revealed that she too has sought mental health treatment for depression. Lenard Larry McKelvey, known professionally as Charlamagne tha God, has long spoken candidly about his struggles with his mental health and is making it his mission to encourage Black folks to seek therapy. He is also currently promoting his second book, “Shook One: Anxiety Playing tricks on me,” which is inspired by his own therapy sessions and personal struggles with anxiety. During a discussion on her popular Red Table Talk show, Jada Pinkett-Smith opened up about her mental health struggles, including a brief period in her 20s when she considered herself "extremely suicidal."

Pinkett-Smith has since been able to overcome depression, but reveals that a lot of the healing came from "uprooting some false beliefs" and accepting "just what life is." Famous rapper/entrepreneur Jay-Z is a staunch advocate of mental health resources being placed in public schools and said that he found his therapist recommended by a friend and that "I grew so much from the experience." Lisa Nicole Carson opened up to Essence Magazine about her years-long battle with bipolar disorder. Janet Jackson disclosed to Essence Magazine that she struggled with depression and feelings of inadequacy since childhood. During the 2019 Black Women in Hollywood event, Jenifer Lewis disclosed that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Big Sean disclosed that he has been meditating since age 17 to manage his anxiety and depression. NFL star Brandon Marshall was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)-a mental illness characterized by unstable emotions, relationships and behaviors.