Mar 19, 2008



New York, NY – The Stay Strong Foundation unveiled its plan to launch a national campaign entitled “Healing Starts With Us.” On the heels of Terrie M. Williams’ latest book, BLACK PAIN: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting, emerges a powerful movement aimed to provide a support network that encourages open dialogue about emotional distress within the African American community.

The impetus of Williams’ book, which fuels the campaign, came in 2005 after she shared her own personal battle with depression in ESSENCE magazine. With over 10,000 letters from people relieved to speak about their pain for the first time, the urgency to educate, bring awareness and transform the lives of individuals who suffer through episodes of emotional distress became an urgent call to action.

There is a stigma of shame related to mental health issues in Black and Hispanic communities. “This taboo topic,” says Williams, “is linked to most street violence, drug/alcohol abuse, homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse as well as physical health problems such as obesity and heart disease. We’re afraid to talk to a therapist—we’re afraid to talk to each other and the silence is killing us. According to the World Health Organization Report on Mental Illness, by the year 2020, depression is projected to become the second largest killer in America behind heart disease. Ultimately this work helps us to recognize what depression looks, feels and sounds like and offers solutions.”

The event was hosted by Susan L. Taylor, founder of the National Cares Mentoring Movement and editor emeritus of ESSENCE, and Geoffrey Canada, educator and founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Attendees include Academy Award® nominee Ruby Dee, John Amos, Mo’Nique, Terry McMillan, HBO’s The Wire co-stars Jamie Hector and Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, Rev. Al Sharpton and Madeline McCray. Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington paid special tribute to Malcolm X. (Source)


To learn more about Healing Starts with Us please click here.

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