Welcome back to BeREAL! This week, Ednesha is continuing her conversation with the BeWELL team about Minority Mental Health Month. Joining her once again is Dr. Victoria Rodriguez, Suhailey Núñez, Divya Robin, Teanika Chamberlain, and Tamika Covington.
The conversation picks up where last week’s episode ended: about police involvement in mental health emergency calls. The women discuss how it feels to be BIPOC in a space that is not affirming of their identity. This does not mean that they want to be surrounded solely by those from a similar background. Instead, it means they feel comfortable in spaces where they do not have to explain culture, slang, etc. This comfort diminishes when police become involved. Ednesha retells times when she had to bar police from going into her office when she made mental health emergency calls about her patients. She would also escort them to the ambulance if need be, never leaving them alone in a space that was not culturally competent.
Divya changes the conversation by discussing how therapy should not be seen as a last resort. This originates from the ‘tough it out’ mindset that was discussed in last week’s episode. Tamika discusses how mental health challenges are inevitable in one’s life, so why not start therapy right now before they strike versus after. The women discuss how preventative care is emphasized in medical care, so it should be just as important in mental health care.
To close off the episode, the women begin discussing the finances involved in mental health treatment. Ednesha brings up how there should be financial incentives to enroll in social work school after the pandemic due to the influx of mental health issues. She brings up her own student debt and how it is hard to live off a therapist’s salary in a place as expensive as New York City. She also discusses the challenges that come with putting a price tag on your services. Many therapists question if their services are worth enough money, and if there are people who are actually willing to pay. Ednesha assures clinicians of color that there are patients who wants to see them, because their work is so important.
Thank you for tuning into BeREAL this week. Be on the lookout for an all new episode next week. In the meantime, make sure to tune into last week’s episode which included even more discussion of Minority Mental Health month.
To schedule a therapy appointment text BeWELL to 484848 today