“Mental illness is real,” says Tamar Braxton, shedding a light over Black communities’ mental health
Mental health conditions occur in Black and African American (B/AA) people in America at about the same or less frequency than in White Americans. However, the historically Black and African American experience in America has and continues to be characterized by trauma and violence more often than for their White counterparts and impacts emotional and mental health of both youth and adults.
“It slowly ate away at my spirit and my mental,” says Tamar Braxton, an American singer, actress, and television personality.
Historical dehumanization, oppression, and violence against Black and African American people have developed and increased steeply, also because of the current coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Mental Health Association of America, processing and dealing with layers of individual trauma on top of new mass traumas from COVID-19 (uncertainty, isolation, grief from financial or human losses), police brutality and its fetishization in news media, and divisive political rhetoric add compounding layers of complexity for individuals to responsibly manage.
In the UK, mental illness is very common within the education system. Specifically, coronavirus has exposed UK children and young people to an unprecedented level of trauma, loss and adversity.
A survey conducted in the UK found out that more than three million children in the UK could be facing with poor mental health due to Coronavirus, and 88% of school staff added that the pandemic is likely to have a long-term effect on the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils.
Despite these concerns on the reality and gravity of mental illnesses which are real in the Black community, the problem remains huge and still unfaced by the governments,
both American and British. The government indeed should take this once in a generation opportunity to rebalance the increasingly more needy society, but once again this seems not to be the case.
“It slowly ate away at my spirit and my mind,” explained Tamar. “It is only your prayers that have pushed me to rise above my demise, pushed me to not only continue my fight for the freedom of my thoughts, mind, and soul but to also use my voice and experience to be an ally for every black and brown person who has suffered from the continued exploitation of reality television. Reality TV personalities have no union, no coat of protection, no formal representation that protects our labour, our rights, or our voices. They promise us an opportunity but produce exploitation, which has only developed a poor portrayal of black people in show business.”
“I am learning to grow through my pain instead of looking for an escape. I’m on an irreversible path to healing, I am taking my time. It is of the utmost importance that I find my happiness and my health, through professional treatment, for the sake of my whole heart, Logan, who I forgot in my moment of distress and desperation. And giving this journey my undivided attention. My rise will not be in vain. I will make it my mission to establish the initiative that fights for ethical business practices in reality TV, fights for the ownership of our businesses, promote growth and evolution of our stories, and gives us 100% equity in our freedom. My love and support system and everyone who chose to love me when I no longer loved myself, is infinite and I am forever grateful. I pray you will stand with me and be courageous enough to share your truth.”
Javed Khan, Barnardo’s Chief Executive, the UK's largest children's charity since 2014
said that people who suffer from mental health were already vulnerable before the coronavirus crisis, but now the situation has worsened, and families now try to help their suffering members, but it is getting harder with the increasing financial and emotional pressure.
"Many more are struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health problems, now largely more hidden", points out Khan.
The whole Urban Kapital team is praying and standing with Tamar in her healing, but also with all others suffering from mental health issues. We love you and support you, don’t give up!