Taraji P. Henson aka Cookie Lyons from TV series “Empire” is bringing free online therapy to communities that she says are experiencing “trauma on top of trauma” due to Covid-19.
The actress who consistently takes on strong female characters is bringing that same energy off camera to contribute to African American communities that are struggling mentally during this quarantine. Taraji Henson spoke of her newest launch with ABC News anchor Linsey Davis.
Taraji describes her “why” to wanting to provide an outlet for the African American community, reflecting on the tragic realities many are facing when it comes to coping mechanisms.
“Having to choose between a meal and mental health is not something that one should ever have to ponder,” Henson says.
“You’re talking about an idea that’s passed down for generations, pray your problems away, you have to be strong, you can’t be vulnerable because that’s a sign of weakness. If we shift that thinking and normalize this stigma, I think that will help. It’s okay to be vulnerable, it is okay for us to be vulnerable. I don’t want to be strong all the time. I can’t. It’s physically and mentally impossible in today’s world.”
This online therapy campaign is being carried out by her non-profit organization, The Boris L. Henson Foundation. Named after her father who suffered with mental health challenges after his tour of duty in the Vietnam war Taraji focuses on using her foundation to follow his advice to bless others. The BLHF mission is to provide support and bring awareness to mental health issues that plaque specific communities.
Taraji is asking her 15 million followers to help towards the cause with even a dollar. Lots of help has already come to aid the campaign, Taraji was excited to share that hundreds of new therapist signed up to offer their service to the point that the site actually crashed. “We had to recalibrate for 30 minutes because of the overwhelming response.” she said.
Here are the facts: One in five Americans suffer from mental illness & African Americans are the least likely population to seek treatment.
Virtual Therapy Sessions are now available on the BLHF website. The campaign covers the cost of five sessions of therapy for “individuals with life changing stressors and anxiety related to the corona virus”
It’s OK to not be OK. REGISTER HERE