As July wraps up, we cannot go without zoning in on one of the most overlooked and detrimental issues within the community of people of color. — Although the topic of Mental Health has most definitely taken a growing position of power with today’s heavy focus and engagement on social media; it is still a subject that requires constant footwork and representation for awareness.

Recently, we’ve seen different celebrities like Ayesha Curry, Common, Michelle Williams, Charlemagne, and more, using their platforms and testimonies to bring light to this need within the culture. — According to the Huffington Post, “Nearly one in five American adults will deal with a mental health issue in a given year. While research and advocacy have come a long way when it comes to mental health, there’s still one area that is highly under-addressed: How mental illness affects people of color.”

This area of concern is real and it is seemingly imperative at this point, that the culture comes together to share stories, insight and expertise surrounding the awareness of conscious Mental Health Care. — We had a chance to connect with Philadelphia Mental Health Advocate and Author of “My Soul Told On Me”, Chantelle Adanna; and she is someone who is taking action against this issue of crippling unawareness, through the release of her memoir. In it, she talks about some of her observations and reflections on the impact something as simple as social media can cause on people, and specifically people of color.

Here is an excerpt from her book:

“The idea that lighter is better or that a certain size is perfect has had a detrimental negative side effect within the black community. We base our lives and relationship goals off of hashtags, cute pics, produced moments, and temporary videos. We base our values of the number of “likes” and comments we accumulate under any given social media post. It’s all about attention. What can I do for instant gratification, despite the consequences, despite the true harm, despite the emptiness and pain, what can I do right here and now to instantly feel good about myself. To feel comfortable with who I’m not.”

My Soul Told On Me

Pg. 53 (know yourself) ch.6 Agbro

We talked also talked about Suicide, which is another topic of high awareness priority, because many cases to date, stem from Mental Health conditions and/or needs. — Here’s what Chantelle had to say regarding her perspective.

“At first, I knew suicide to be vicious solely physically. Yet, as I’ve grown, I’ve found that to be less true. Most people deteriorate mentally, long before their flesh leaves. — The point is this; if you allow past pain to own you, you kill yourself emotionally. Instantly.

Trust me, there’s fresh air in the action of just a simple release. Do it, because centering in on anything BUT the present or future keeps you from actually existing.” – Chantelle Adanna

With all the positive response that the #RepresentationMatters campaign received, we support the idea that people are more likely to make change when they are able to connect and relate. — With the increasing forthcomings of mental illness champions and their continued collaborations with larger platforms that care, we are optimistic about more awareness being raised for such a vital cause in our communities.