If 2020 taught us anything, it's that mental health in the black community is essential.
While minority communities were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the Black community found themselves fighting two wars – the Coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism.
As we head into 2021, it's important that black individuals find ways to prioritize mental health. Starting therapy is a great way to start.
But…therapy is for rich white people…right? Wrong.
It's no secret that the black community is slow to seek therapy due to:
Stigmas surrounding therapy
Racial barriers/lack of access
An overall mistrust of the healthcare system
Jordan A. Madison is a Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist who's here to shed some light on the subject.
Jordan is the Founder of Therapy is my JAM, a community focused on mental wellness, healthy relationships, and destigmatizing therapy in the black community.
This month, we caught up with Jordan to discuss all things therapy and things you should know if you're considering starting your therapy journey.
1. Where did your interest in therapy begin?
J: It started with an episode of Grey's Anatomy! I remember there was an episode where Meredith Grey was in therapy, and her therapist helped her have an "Ah-ha" moment.
I remember thinking, "Oh! I want to do that. I want to be able to help people understand more about themselves and help them have these 'Ah-ha' moments."
2. How's it going….where are you on your therapy journey right now?
J: I am a fully Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland. I'm working for a private practice here in the area and am seeing clients, which is exciting.
Lately, I've been thinking of ways to expand my brand. Whether it's creating journal prompts, a guided journal, or just speaking on more platforms.
3. Therapy is my Jam is dedicated to destigmatizing therapy in the black community. Why is that important?
J: There's been such a mistrust of the healthcare system in general. Between Henrietta Lacks and the Tuskegee Experiment, there have been many instances where we've been wronged by the medical system. Therapy is sometimes seen as a part of that system.
There's also this misconception that if you go to therapy, something is wrong with you or you're crazy, which is not true. Last but not least, the black community is really big on faith and praying on it. When you go to therapy, it can be seen as you're not trusting God, and you're telling your business to strangers.