The subject of mental health continues to push into the forefront of conversation in modern society. It has been thrust into the spotlight through the many devastating results of the pandemic and political climate of the past several years. Mental health struggles are not limited to any one race, ethnicity, or culture, though people of color are disproportionately affected by mental health issues. This is due in great part to the lack of resources available to people of color helping them get the treatment and medication needed to be ok.
We believe in a Chicago where everyone can access the resources needed to maintain health and wellness. Social Works is committed to helping people of color in their journey to wellness via our program “My State of Mind”, a digital tool that helps connect individuals to mental health resources in Chicago. “My State of Mind” results from a partnership among Social Works, the Illinois Department of Human Services, The Juvenile Protective Association, Cook County Health & Hospital Systems, and several local and national practitioners. This goes to show that providing quality mental health services, especially for underrepresented communities, is a joint effort that must be scaled to be effective. This is only the beginning, but if done right, we believe My State of Mind can help countless individuals nationwide.
In addition to My State of Mind, here is a list of some other organizations and resources dedicated to providing mental health services to people of color in Chicago.
Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness’ vision is for Black women across the African Diaspora to be free from psychological and physical illness through supporting one another and engaging in accessible mental wellness care that centers on the whole person’s well-being. Sista Afya is a social enterprise that provides community mental wellness care that centers on the experiences of Black women. Sista Afya has a community support approach to mental wellness. We believe that community support for people living with mental health conditions can foster healing, growth, freedom, and self-actualization.
Sista Afya achieves their vision in 3 ways:
- Community Support: Individual therapy, group therapy, support groups, social events, and holistic healing events.
- Mental Wellness Education: Mental wellness workshops, professional development, & online resources.
- Resource Connection: Information and events that bring mental wellness practitioners and community together.
Real Men Charities, Inc.
“Real Men Charities, Inc. is proud to call The Quarry Event Center in Chicago, Illinois our home. Located in the heart of the communities we serve, The Quarry serves as both a headquarters for the programs offered through our Nonprofit organization and a cultural hub for Chicago. Real Men Charities, Inc. was founded in 1990 by Yvette Mayo to advocate for families (with emphasis on fathers) and to promote community development. Our initial focus was on food security, proper nutrition, and healthcare, but during our first few years of service, it became apparent that men also urgently needed to address mental and emotional health issues. With this in mind, RMC has expanded its mission to include suicide prevention, improved literacy, mentoring, and holistic wellness opportunities for men using food, art, culture, and community.”
Real Men Charities, Inc.’s mission is to positively improve how the world celebrates family and community by fostering opportunities through education, forums, and programs, emphasizing wellness, fathers, and father figures.
Light of Loving Kindness
Light of Loving Kindness is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that empowers a new generation of conscious leaders by providing access to streams of self-awareness, through specialized programming, mindfulness-based solutions, social-emotional learning, human connection, nature, and holistic wellness tools that cultivate the self-esteem and confidence needed to pursue their life’s purpose.
Mental Health Resources for Chicago Teens
Mental health issues can be particularly challenging for adolescents and teenagers, especially regarding people of color. Teens can struggle to understand what is happening to them as they develop, and are impacted by the world around them. In addition, teens may be less likely to seek out mental health resources due to the stigma still surrounding mental health, leading to personal shame, which gets in the way of efforts to seek out help in the form of knowledge and resources.
As mentioned earlier, My State of Mind is a SocialWorks mental health resource for people of color in Chicago, emphasizing teens and young adults ages 13-24. In addition, several other local mental health services for teens and young adults in Chicago provide counseling services, support groups, peer mentorship programs, crisis hotlines, and self-care workshops.
Lurie Children’s: Adolescent Behavioral Health Program
Established in 2013, behavioral health services in The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine meet the diverse needs of child and adolescent patients by providing diagnostic assessment and psychotherapy in select subspecialty services and programs. In addition, all Adolescent Medicine Behavioral Health Providers are offering diagnostic assessments and therapeutic services via telemedicine.
Thrive Chicago is a dedicated group committed to collaborative work, creative problem-solving, and breaking down systemic barriers to achieve equity for young people and communities.
A project of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), OneChiFam connects new parents and families with resources and support to help them live healthy and happy lives. In addition, we strive to help create equity among diverse communities to ensure all parents have access to resources, environments, and opportunities that promote health and well-being.
Teens have a lot going on in their lives. As they navigate the many changes adolescence brings, parents need to understand their teens’ need for independence while continuing to provide love and support.
Access to mental health resources is crucial for people of color in Chicago.
MSOM by SocialWorks is an excellent platform to seek help and support. As an organization, SocialWorks aims to empower the youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement. And MSOM is committed to promoting mental wellness and providing a safe space for communities to access resources that cater to their specific needs. It is essential to prioritize mental health, and SocialWorks is continually working towards providing more initiatives and events to support those in need. Stay tuned to SocialWorks for upcoming events to include workshops and seminars on coping mechanisms, self-care, and stress management, specifically tailored for people of color in Chicago. By partnering with SocialWorks, we can create a community prioritizing mental health and well-being and promote a more inclusive and equitable society.