4 Free Mental Health Resources For Black People

Black people are more likely to face psychological distress but less likely to access proper treatment. These organizations are breaking barriers by providing free, culturally competent care. (Credit: Photo by FatCamera via Getty)

by Alexa Spencer

Therapy is a proven tool for healing mental trauma, improving emotional well-being, and increasing overall life satisfaction. But with a single session with a licensed therapist averaging between $100 to $200, the resource isn’t always accessible to people who come from low-income backgrounds. For Black people and other marginalized groups, finding an anti-racist, culturally competent provider is an additional barrier.

The need for mental health support for Black adults in the United States is certainly there. They are more likely than white adults to report persistent symptoms of emotional distress, according to a 2018 survey by the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. The respondents reported feelings of constant sadness, worthlessness, or feeling like everything is an effort.

Additionally, Black adults living below the poverty line are twice as likely to report serious psychological distress compared to those with more financial security. “Poverty level affects mental health status,” reported the office.

Despite the need for treatment in the Black community, only one in three Black adults with mental illness receive care. Compared to white adults, the population is almost twice as likely to visit the emergency room to access it. 

Wealth shouldn’t be a determining factor for accessing therapy, nor should skin color. If you or someone you know is in need, check out this list of four free mental health care resources for Black people.

1. Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective

The Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) connects Black people to Black therapists, doulas, yoga teachers, and more through its online directory. BEAM also provides microgrants to Black and marginalized parents living with mental illness or supporting children living with mental illness.

2. Boris L. Henson Foundation

The Boris L. Henson Foundation was founded by award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson in 2018 to provide barrier-free access to care for Black people. Through its free Mental Wellness Support Program, applicants are eligible for five free sessions “tailored to support you through life-changing events, everyday struggles, or when stress, anxiety, depression, or hopelessness become overwhelming.” 

The organization also provides scholarships for aspiring Black clinicians, cultural competency training for providers, and in-person educational events.

3. The Loveland Foundation

The Loveland Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to Black women and girls seeking mental health care. Eligible applicants may receive vouchers for up to 12 therapy sessions at no cost. The foundation also offers free group classes for its participants. 

4. National Alliance on Mental Illness 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, also known as NAMI, is a national grassroots organization that supports people and families affected by mental illness. Through its state and local chapters, NAMI offers free mental health support, educational programs, and a helpline.