8 Books by Black Authors to Read for Mental Health Awareness Month


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Just like our body, our brain needs regular examinations. And they need routines to stay healthy. You exercise, eat well, and go to the doctor to keep fit. But do you have the same routines to keep your mind well? The first step in addressing mental health issues is recognizing their importance. However, a study published by the National Library of Medicine found that up to 63% of African Americans consider mental health issues such as depression or anxiety be a personal weakness.

Mental health care is a medical issue. However, when it is not seen as such, they are less likely to process it. That’s why any time a public figure speaks openly about mental health, they’re doing a great service to society and paving the way for others. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, MADAMENOIR highlights mental health books by black authors to add to your reading list.

The State of Black Girls: A Guide to Creating a Safe Space for Black Girls

By Marline Francois-Madden, LCSW

Written by registered social worker Marline François-Madden, this book is for both young, maturing black women and anyone who works with black girls, such as educators or counsellors. It addresses the real challenges a young black girl will face as she grows up in America and provides practical advice, as well as encouraging affirmations. It’s an ideal graduation gift for a girl heading off to college and a must-read for anyone trying to make any environment more welcoming to black girls.

Shifting: the double life of black women in America

By Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D.

Codeswitching: This is a well-known concept in the black community, and this book takes it to new levels never seen before. Through a mix of storytelling devices, including interviews, research, personal stories and more, the book takes a serious and honest look at all the ways black women feel they can’t be themselves. even if they want to move forward in this area. country.

Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability

Edited by Stephanie Y. Evans, Ph.D.

This book is also beneficial for any black woman wishing to improve her mental health and understand that she is not alone in wanting to do so, and for mental health professionals who want a comprehensive review of black mental health issues. . It combines research and material from the fields of political science, health care, and psychology to provide complex insight into the barriers black women face in simply trying to achieve emotional well-being.

I tell the truth, but I lie

Essays by Bassey Ikpi

This intimate collection of essays gives a personal, first-hand look at a Nigerian woman’s journey to a Bipolar II diagnosis. From explosive family dynamics to hospitalizations to extreme mood swings, Ikpi uncovers it all in this book, revealing what it’s really like to live with mental illness – and the complexities surrounding its identification. She exhibits incredible self-awareness and does a great job of not only expressing how she felt, but also showing how she appeared (and impacted) others in her life before she finally broke down. get treated.

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Path to Repairing Our Hearts and Bodies

By Resmaa Menakem MSW, LICSW, SEP

Written by therapist Resmaa Menakem, this book examines the impact of racism on a person, not only psychologically, but also on the body. The book explains how trauma – lived first-hand and generational – sits in the body, causing a physical reaction and shows that it exists in everyone in this country, including white people and even members of the police force. Additionally, it offers a guide to personal healing and suggestions for societal change to enable future generations to avoid inherited trauma.

The Stress Management Handbook: De-Stress in 10 Minutes or Less

By Dr. Ruth C. White PhD, MPH, MSW

This practical guide to stress management offers exercises that can be done in – you guessed it – 10 minutes or less, that reduce the stress response in the moment and strengthen the mind’s stress coping mechanisms. over time. It offers well-organized and easy-to-use tools like questionnaires, checklists and workbooks to help you identify stressors and develop an action plan when they arise. All of this is done with the underlying purpose of fostering better relationships and helping you achieve your life goals.

Black Pain: Looks like we’re okay

By Terrie M. Williams

black pain is the personal story of Terrie M. Williams, a black female entrepreneur who started a successful public relations business, thinking it would bring her all the happiness in the world, only to find herself unable to get out of bed. She came to recognize that she suffered from debilitating but unrecognized depression, and with this book she hopes to help others open up about their own mental health and eradicate the stigma surrounding depression.

Shook One: Anxiety is playing tricks on me

By Charlamagne The God

This book is so impactful because it shows that even those we think we “have it all” are still plagued by common fears and anxieties – no amount of money or fame can chase them away. Only real personal work and seeking help from mental health experts can. This personal story of rap star Charlamagne Tha God details the artist’s own journey with anxiety and aims to show anyone struggling with mental health issues that there is nothing ‘wrong’ in asking help – in fact, it’s empowering.

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