By Leah Harris

According to the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH), the theme for Black History Month 2022 will focus on the extensive historical contributions of Black health and wellness practitioners, both in Western medicine and “other ways of knowing throughout the African diaspora,” such as midwives, herbalists, and healers. ASALH defines Black health and wellness to include “activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.” 

The discussion of the 2022 theme also explicitly includes and centers mental and emotional health: “Black Health and Wellness not only includes one’s physical body, but also emotional and mental health. At this point in the 21st century, our understanding of Black health and wellness is broader and more nuanced than ever.”

In honor of this year’s Black History Month theme, we’ve curated a variety of resources to explore and to share:

Historical Record

Wellness Resources

  • The Black Virtual Wellness Directory, launched by the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM), allows people to search by location for a virtual therapist, doula, or yoga teacher. BEAM has created this directory due to racialized inequities in access, noting “A virtual therapist network can help to bridge the gap to accessible and culturally sensitive mental health care for Black people.” 
  • Depressed While Black and REBUILD are launching a pilot of the Help Me Find a Therapist Program, matching formerly incarcerated and justice-involved individuals with culturally sensitive therapists. 
  • PEERS hosts support groups that are open to all, with some focusing specifically on uplifiting and supporting the Black community. Hope and Faith is a partnership between PEERS and local Black faith-based institutions focused on providing mental health education in the church. Likewise, Black Wellness and Resilience Support Group offers a space for members of the Black community to come together and discuss mental health, wellness, and dispelling stigma around these topics.

Local Events

We hope you find these resources useful and informative – this Black History Month, and all throughout the year.

Leah Harris is a non-binary, queer, neurodivergent, disabled Jewish writer, facilitator, and organizer working in the service of truth-telling, justice-doing, and liberation. They’ve had work published in the New York Times, CNN, and Pacific Standard. You can learn more about their work at their website and follow them on Instagram.