D’Andrea Bolden is the founder and director of Faith + Mental Health. She is very passionate about the intersection of faith and mental health, understanding that scientific evidence supports the benefits of an integrative multidimensional holistic approach. Ultimately, D’Andrea desires to see the faith-based community free of stigma and knowledgeable on how to address mental health. We were able to catch up with D’Andrea and learn more about her brand, Faith + Mental Health.

How did you get the idea for your business?

D’Andrea: The idea itself came from me seeing a need and wanting to fill that need the way I envisioned it. Entrepreneurship was never the goal but serving and meeting the needs of others was the goal. I simply saw an opportunity where I could meet a need.

How important is self-care? What advice would you give to women struggling to find time for self-care?

D’Andrea: Self-care is super important. You have to take care of yourself. As women, we tend to put our all into everyone except ourselves. Then we are left drained, exhausted, and burnt out.

My advice to women struggling to find time for self-care is to make time. Prioritize and take things off of your plate. Sometimes we are carrying burdens and loads that do not belong to us. As women sometimes we are dealing with a lot of stress which is bad for both our physical and mental health.

Make time for you, for real. Exercise, meditate, journal, sing or do whatever allows you to relax and feel happy. My last suggestion for those struggling with the aftermath of trauma or one of life’s many challenges is to find a good therapist. A therapist is not just to check off a box and say that you are going but the right therapist to help you heal, grow, and evolve into the best version of you.

April is National Minority Health Month. How important is it for minority communities to embrace conversations around mental health? 

D’Andrea–  NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) shared that over 60% of black people believe that having a mental health disorder is a sign of personal weakness. It is also believed that only 25% of black Americans seek out professional mental health services. The stigma and false information that keeps so many black people from getting help needs to be debunked. It is important that the attitudes and mindsets towards mental health in the black community start to change.  For years, I have been hosting the Faith + Mental Health Podcast and the Faith + Mental Health hybrid summit and the audience is very mixed, but I want to see more minorities recognize the importance of mental health.

In 2023 we are still dealing with the aftermath of slavery, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, and every other booby trap that has been set for us, and this has all played a role in the severe breakdown of the family. Childhood trauma, absent parents, incarcerated parents, foster care, abuse, poverty, and so many other things have caused a lot of black people much harm. It’s time for us to heal as a people for real. not just talking and sharing memes on social media but striving to heal so we can thrive. We cannot do anything at our best if we are not at our best.

Mental health is health! A lot of black Americans specifically are used to living under extremely high amounts of stress and will just keep going. We have got to get out of this “struggle” is a normal mindset. Knocking it out of the mud should not be the goal for every generation. The goal now is healing, rest, prosperity, and peace not a badge for being “strong” and suffering that is not ok.  Lastly, we have to invest in our total health. Oftentimes we will put money into our hair, car, clothes, concerts, nails, and so forth while forgetting to invest in our health and that is more important than all of that other stuff.

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Photo Credits: D’Andrea Bolden