Black Voices of Mental Health- Episode 1: Hafeez Baoku, Lauren Carson, and Olivia B. Shepherd

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Hafeez Baoku

Today we’re focusing on on some amazing Black influencers and bloggers changing the narrative on Black Mental Health.

Since there are so many folks I want to introduce you to, we’ll be running this series in segments of highlights all this week. Even then, I’m sure that won’t even scratch the surface so we’ll be making this a weekly post recurring on Wednesdays from now on.

Many of the Black influencers we’ll be highlighting today speak of similar struggles: the difficulties for BIPOC to accept, speak about, and get treatment for mental illness. The stigma is very, very real for the Black community and it often keeps people from attaining the services they need.

Let’s hear what these three creatives have to say on this topic and many others:

Hafeez Baoku

Hafeez is one half of the “The Roommates Podcast a worldwide community of people who are united on becoming, emotional & spiritual health, kindness, togetherness, and thirst for knowledge.

In their podcast, Hafeez and his best friend Chris Below have deep discussions on everything from mental health to relationships to race and religion.

In their film, entitled “Help”, Hafeez and Chris explore what it’s like to experience depression as a black man. It’s a moving piece that shows the unique challenges black people, men in particular, face when it comes to getting help for mental health conditions.

Check out the podcast here: especially episode 128: Suffering in the Silence <3

Black Girls’ Smile

Black Girls Smile is an organization and blog founded by Lauren Carson. Lauren herself struggled with mental health issues growing up. This makes her passionate about helping other young black girls understand their mental health needs.

BGS wants to encourage young African American females to make their mental health a priority by providing resources and community for them. Their blog and Facebook page are just two parts of that initiative. They also provide a variety of programming that can be included in school and camp curriculums.

Check out some of the amazing topics on Black Girls Smile Blog and don’t forget to follow them on socials <3

African American Women and Mental Health :Why We Don’t Seek Help! By Olivia Shepherd (Ms. Fran)

The 3 Things Minority Women Need NOW For Mental Health By Lauren Carson

Understanding Addiction and Its Effect on Your Mental Health: A Suicide Toolkit By Jennifer Scott (Check her out at

And many more!

Black Girl Down

Olivia B. Shepherd

This blog is created by the wonderful Olivia B. Shepherd:A Fabulous Black Woman…Living, Thriving, & Healing From Depression. Olivia’s blog brings awareness to the experience of depression in the black community, especially how it affects women.

Olivia is a wonder woman! She herself struggles with depression but remains open with her struggles so they may inspire others. She’s also a Life Empowerment Mentor who runs AshestoBeauty Online Mentoring and Outreach. Olivia also provides Anxiety and Goal Setting Workbooks for a small cost on her site.

Check some of her many wonderful posts here:

What Does Depression Look Like

Mental Health Awareness Month 💚 How Do You Self-Care?

The 10 Steps To Emotional Healing

And many more!

Wrap Up

There you have it! Three amazing black creatives who are changing the discourse around mental health! And that’s just the beginning, there are so many BIPOC out there creating, discussing, and educating the world (even though they don’t have to).

That’s why we’ll see you next time where we’ll highlight 3 more wonderful bloggers talking about mental health in the black community.

Much Love,


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10 thoughts on “Black Voices of Mental Health- Episode 1: Hafeez Baoku, Lauren Carson, and Olivia B. Shepherd”

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. It’s important that we share resources to support the immense need of our community and society

      1. Yes! Thank you for the suggestion, I don’t think we talk enough about severe mental illness especially not SMI in the BIPOC community

  2. This is one topic we don’t talk about enough because we don’t want to accept that it is something we all deal with.
    Thank you for sharing.

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