Published On: Wed, Apr 8th, 2020

Taraji P. Henson Launches Initiative to Provide Underserved Black Communities with Tele-Therapy

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 06: Taraji P. Henson and American Express Launch #ExpressThanks Pop Up Cafe at Grand Central Station on March 06, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images,)

Actress Taraji P. Henson has started a new charity initiative aimed at providing free remote counseling and telehealth services to African Americans in underserved communities. The COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Campaign will raise money to provide funding and resources for communities to access mental health services from licensed, culturally competent providers.

Henson is no stranger to mental health advocacy and charity. She has spoken frequently about her own father’s struggle with mental health and PTSD after the Vietnam war. It was in her father’s name that Henson founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which is committed to ending the stigma around mental health and seeking services, especially in black communities.

The mission of the foundation states: “We are committed to changing the perception of mental illness in the African-American community by encouraging those who suffer with this debilitating illness to get the help they need.” In this case, they will be targeting this initiative at those in black communities directly affected by the coronavirus and COVI-19.

Registration will be available starting Apil 16 on the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation website, but fundraising for the campaign has started already. Donations can be made now by texting NOSTIGMA to 707070. Henson announced the campaign earlier today on Instagram.

 

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Providing counseling and support specifically to Black communities is incredibly important at this time. Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus and are dying at higher rates. they are also at higher risk to get the virus. Lower job stability, poor access to healthcare and higher rates of existing health conditions are all factors in this, and those issues themselves are just a few outcomes of systemic racism and hoe America continues to fail Black communities.

Bravo to Henson for this initiative and for bringing attention to issues of mental health, and helping to end the stigma, not just in Black communities, but across the board.

(via: The Hollywood Reporter. Image: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

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