Getting treatment for mental health issues can present a number of obstacles, from affordability and accessibility of care to social stigmas that still persist. In a new YouTube series called “Our Mental Health Minute,” Penn GSE researchers Riana “Ri” Anderson and Shawn “CT” Jones host bi-weekly videos that look at mental health issues in a way that is friendly, welcoming, and relatable.
The short videos aim to reach viewers in the Black community who may have less access to mental health services. So far, Anderson and Jones have covered topics like depression, stress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They also gave viewers an idea of what a therapy session looks like.
“Black folks, in particular, have had―whether it’s in the general medical field or also mental health―negative experiences,” Jones told The Huffington Post. “So there’s [this] mistrust of the system of service provision.”
Anderson and Jones are both researchers with the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC) at Penn GSE and share the REC’s mission of studying and promoting racial literacy and health in schools and neighborhoods. To this end, the video series aims to help its viewers recognize mental health issues and find strategies for living their best lives.
“The goal really isn’t to necessarily have stardom [or] necessarily go viral. We really want people to digest and interact with this content,” Anderson told The Huffington Post.