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AC JosepH Media

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month, and this month-long observance brings renewed focus to the challenges faced by BIPOC communities. Many struggle with being uninsured or underinsured, finding qualified therapists who are able to understand their unique cultural backgrounds, and the ongoing stigma of receiving care. Yet, mental health issues we to grow in communities across America, prompting many to take their care into their own hands. 

Cost is one of the biggest barriers to BIPOC individuals seeking mental health care. And almost every community of color has seen a rise in poverty rates, making it almost inaccessible completely.

Despite the lack of access to adequate mental health services, many are employing techniques like mindfulness, art, and free group therapy circles to ease the pain of mental health issues.

“I use my art to heal and work through a lot of what is on my mind,” said artist Samson Tonton. “Sometimes I will paint for hours, skipping meals, not going to bed. It’s important for me to get out what’s on my mind onto the canvas.” 

Tonton is just one of a couple of sources who can speak to this issue:  

  • Maya Ford, founder and principal of FordMomentum!, developed a five-pillar system called STOLO, which can be used to improve one’s mental well-being. 
  • Nina Ruffin, a therapist specializing in anxiety and depression with a focus on BIPOC communities 

Despite the obstacles hindering BIPOC communities, some of which have no solution in sight, many are taking charge of their care and finding relief through unique methods. 

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