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In this episode we’ve got a single feature for you!
Not because there’s not many amazing Black voices out there talking about mental health. But because this particular organization is doing *the most* to redefine the Black experience with mental health. It needs its own spotlight to even talk about the half of what they’re doing!
We’re talking of course about BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health) the amazing non profit driving change in the social justice and mental health worlds. For a brief intro into the organization’s values check out this video from Founder Yolo Akili Robinson:
What Does BEAM Believe In?
Overall, BEAM operates their programming in the framework of Healing Justice. Healing Justice is a social justice perspective that works to dismantle generational trauma inflicted on the Black, trans, and LGBTQ communities. It has informed BEAM’s work by leading them to create and teach “Social Justice Informed Mental Health Literacy.”
To learn more about Healing Justice, check out the video below. You can also learn more by taking a look at the work of Bad Ass Visionary Healers a blog and movement championing Healing Justice.
What Resources Does BEAM Provide?
BEAM supports Black mental health in a variety of ways. The non-profit provides mental health informed trainings for professionals as well as emotional health tool kits.
BEAM also facilitates workshops and talks. All of which are centered on the unique Black, LGBTQ, trans and disabled experience with mental health.
One of the most lifesaving programs BEAM provides to the community is their directory of Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams. Too often police become involved in situations where a trauma informed team would better serve. Mobile Crisis Units offer that alternative, which can literally save Black lives.
I highly suggest you check this directory out and get familiar with how Mobile Crisis Units work in your area!
BEAM’s When Giants Fall Speaking Series
The series is based on the Emmy award winning show Giants, a very real portrayal of mental illness, hurt, and healing in the Black community.
The speaking series focuses on breaking down barriers to Black mental health and features the cast of the show as well as industry professionals. Drawing on the show’s themes, this series shines light on how masculinity, culture, and generational trauma intersect in ways that keep BIPOC from seeking help. And how to overcome those obstacles.
The founder and board members of BEAM come from all walks of life. Therefore they’ve created a vast array of media for the world at large. I highly suggest you check out not only their writing but do the work of knowing the writers themselves. You will learn so so much.
Why Black Mental Health Literacy Matters – By Yolo Akili (Founder of BEAM) published in the Huffpost
Healing Justice is How we can Sustain Black Lives – By Prentis Hemphill in the Huffpost
Exploring Wellness for Black TGNC Persons Living with HIV: Trauma Informed Care – A guide published by BEAM that helps organizations implement Healing Justice into their initiatives.
Black Masculinity Reimagined Webinar Series – An interactive training series produced by BEAM talking about “the intersections of male socialization, mental health and community violence”
And so so much more.
As always, I recommend you dedicate time to dive into BEAM’s website and follow the links. Don’t just skim. Watch, listen, and understand fully. There is so much life changing content on this site, it takes my breath away. I honestly have only given you a fraction of the info in this post.
So please do your own deep dive and let us know what you learned in the comments below!!
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