By Eddy “Precise” Lamarre – Source: www.rollingout.com – Catherina Malone-Taylor is the founder of the Black Mental Health Guide. She provides Black mental health professionals with the infrastructure to grow a sustainable practice through branding, operational logistics, client retention and community outreach. Her extensive education has equipped her to be a diversity and inclusion strategist within many organizations. Rolling out spoke with Malone-Taylor about the Black Mental Health Guide, providing value to the community, and the importance of working with a therapist who understands your experience.
How does what you do add value to the community?
I am an alliance in communication with corporations and organizations to create a space for Black mental health in a workspace. I teach Black-owned private practices the infrastructure needed to operate efficiently in their business while creating a presence in Black communities. I establish partnerships with global brands to enhance awareness to Black mental health no matter what their followers’ ethnicity is. I show community leaders how essential Black therapists are to their communities. I educate many small-business owners [about] how imperative mental health services are for their teams.
What are your thoughts on how the Black community embraces mental health?
It is a combination of things. I am elated that we are talking more about the need of going to therapy. However, I want people to physically go to therapy because it is [about] more than just talking to someone.
Why is it important for someone to have a therapist who understands their life experience?
It is important because it allows the person to give them a path in their journey for their validation, transparency and authenticity.
How does your approach differ between businesses and individuals?
It really becomes the same eventually when my clients obtain my services. I help businesses to see how their own behaviors get in the way of their success. Oftentimes, business owners do not have the support they need and they become lonely, which triggers imposter syndrome. Then there are therapists who think all they need is operational management when they have experienced imposter syndrome. They intend to talk to themselves as such, “Am I doing this right?” same as business owners.
Why should we work on healing the trauma we have experienced?
It’s important that we identify trauma; little do we realize it tends to show up in different places. Healing is also important, because it allows us to improve the quality of our lives.
What are some reliable mental wellness resources?
Connect with me. I have created a community filled with Black therapists. You can download Melanin in the Mental Health app. You can call NAMI: 800-950-NAMI [National Alliance of Mental Illnesses of Illinois].
How does poverty impact mental health?
Basic needs are not being met. When you look at poverty and mental health, it has [a] cohabitation of insecurities, e.g., job, food and housing.