How are you? I’m fine
How are you feeling? I’m fine
Fine is the word many of us use when stressed from work, going through relationship problems, and even facing health concerns. We’re always fine. Everything is fine, and everybody is fine until we’re not fine, but what happens then. Who do we reach out to? Friends, clergy, or mental health providers. I believe it’s okay to reach out to friends and clergy, but there comes a time when we need help from mental health experts. I strongly believe that it’s okay to have Jesus and a therapist too.
Last year, I connected with a new therapist through the Therapy for Black Girls Podcast as my former therapist, and I was not working out. Until the pandemic hit, I didn’t realize the podcast had a curated list of black therapists on their website from all across the US. With the pandemic in full bloom, I needed to speak to a virtual therapist because everything in my life was not fine. For many, going to a therapist can be taboo or have a stigma connected to it, but it has helped me get through a lot, such as divorce, empty nest syndrome, and just life period.
There are other organizations besides Therapy for Black Girls that can connect you to a mental health therapist. One such organization is Get Headstrong, a nonprofit that sees veterans and spouses at no cost. During the mid-stages of pandemic lockdown, I interviewed the Chief Executive Officer, Jim McDonough, for the podcast Talking Nonprofits. He stated at Get Headstrong, “They are first and foremost veterans themselves, so they understand what it means to serve veterans.” They serve veterans and spouses who have suicidal ideations, PTSD and they see veterans like me who aren’t always fine. They pride themselves on their ability to get people to talk and reduce some barriers associated with stigma and access to mental health. Get Headstrong uses a proven, evidence-based approach model that is highly individualized and joins the person wherever they are in their mental health journey. There are also no limitations on service; veterans can continue to get treatment for a lifetime.
An additional organization that can help others get beyond feeling fine is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) El Paso. NAMI El Paso is a local organization that’s the largest grassroots mental health organization. NAMI El Paso focuses on providing education, support, advocacy, and awareness to those with mental health conditions. In my podcast interview with Isidro Torres, Executive Director, he shared that, “Many times we don’t want to talk about it and so when it comes to mental health and suicidal behaviors. We don’t understand the symptoms.” He said, “If we’re able to understand the symptoms of mental conditions and intervene before they get worse, we can prevent suicide.” We need to have open and honest conversations about mental health and suicide ideations, and I agree. There are so many resources out there to get help; let’s talk and get beyond feeling fine; let’s feel great.
EP NAMI – https://namiep.org/
Get Headstrong- https://getheadstrong.org/
Therapy for Black Girls- https://therapyforblackgirls.com/
Tephanie Hopper is a mom, veteran, volunteer, and host of the Talking Nonprofits Podcast. On the podcast, she aims to amplify the voices of nonprofits and inspire others to serve in their community. She holds an MBA from Park University. Outside of the office, Tephanie enjoys hiking, traveling, and reading.