Mental health in the black community is like the cousin who only shows up because Granny called and asked them to. The rest of the family nods at there appearance but no one talks to them beyond the superficial “how are you?” or “Have you tried to find a church?”. As a community, that has got to stop. We are living in roughly four generations of a head nod at depression and other serious mental illness disorders. And no offense Auntie, but you cannot pray this away, or read a bible verse and it’s gone. These illnesses come from actual chemical imbalances in the brain which are treatable with medication, even though most of them take a few weeks to kick in. Even when they do begin to work, the person taking them is not used to feeling “normal”, what ever that means. Sometimes they will stop taking the medicine because they do not know how to live in the calm. The best thing you can do in that situation is be encouraging and supportive. Another thing to do besides not talking about it is to not make it minuscule. Understand that a person with depression, especially a high functioning person with depression, might come to you talking about something seemingly minor. We have to understand that its a bigger issue and they are trying to sort through it by talking about something else. Just listening is a major help and also reassures them that one person cares. In the age where you can log into your social media on any given day and see black person after black person slain in the street and know that the race soldier who did it is on paid vacation, becoming a millionaire through gofundme pages is disheartening and triggering. It’s important for us as a society to unplug from time to time. Go for a walk, watch a movie, read a book. Do things to stimulate your brain with a relaxing activity. If you admit it or not seeing black people die on permanent loop takes a toll. Some of us internalize and other externalize, but we all need to unplug. Take care of your self black people, the world is set trying to make us lose whatever sanity we have left.