Kofi Siriboe’s mini documentary ask “WTF Is Mental Health?”

Most people know Kofi Siriboe from the OWN television drama series, Queen Sugar, where he plays Ralph Angel Bordelon, a Louisiana native struggling to get it right as son, a brother and father.  In real life,  Kofi Siriboe is using his using his own struggles to create a platform for a much needed discussions around mental health in the Black community.

 “WTF Is Mental Health?”  is a  newly released short form documentary directed by Kofi Siriboe.  Siriboe shared some thoughts on mental health and the Black community in a recent Huffington Post articleI feel like with mental health, people always react negatively.  We kinds have a lot of stigma in our community and in society in general..”, he goes on to say “Everybody doesn’t have that language and doesn’t understand that there is a community or world out there of people who are dealing with similar things, so I really want to explore what it is and what it means to us”.

The short documentary, will likely appeal to many of us in the Black community and young people in general. When people that look like you and use similar language as you open up about mental health, in a way  it gives you permission to do the same, especially if you were never told it is OK to talk about it.  The stigma of  addressing mental health and mental illness is one things that cripples our community.  Siriboe says “If we don’t admit what’s going on to ourselves, we’re gonna keep hurting in silence, which is killing us twice as much as our Caucasian counterparts. No one is gonna talk about it because it’s taboo,” he said. “That’s what I wanna end.”  “WTF Is Mental Health?” is a companion piece to short film Siriboe made last year, JUMP, after losing a mentor and big brother figure to suicide.

Watch the short documentary below as young people share their experiences about dealing with their own mental health.  It is sure to inspire young and older generations to think about what mental health means to them.

Photo via ABC News


A Hidden Pain: Anxiety & Depression

This submission is a part of Lauren Hope’s #MentalHealthMondayMondays series at Good Girl Chronicles

Avoidance. I’ve come up with so many excuses not to write these blogs about mental health. I’ve pressed snooze on my alarm clock on days I was supposed to write. I blamed my period. Told myself I needed a mental break, and then convinced myself that no one cared anyway. I’m sorry. I had promised Facebook followers in the month of February every Monday I’d write about an aspect of my mental health journey or someone else brave enough to share. I even found one brave soul who is still waiting to share her story. I have to ask myself, “Why have I been pushing off this blog?”

 

L. Hope quote

Sometimes I don’t want to be the depressed, anxiety attack prone girl. In 2016, I became a real bold mental health advocate. I spoke publicly at huge venues about suicide, depression, and anxiety. Yet, I won’t lie there are many days I wish depression, anxiety, and suicide never knew my name. Depression and suicide are the main reasons I had to walk away from television news career and I’m afraid it’s the reason I can’t get back in. I am mad at it, and sometimes even madder that an anti-depressant is not an instant fix. It’s not a 21-day pill regimen or something I take until symptoms improve. I will ALWAYS have to take that little orange pill to keep the darkness away. ALWAYS. There are so many days I feel weak, damaged, and abnormal because I have severe depression. A condition of the mind no one can see or sometimes even understand.

I was first prescribed an anti-depressant when I was sixteen, a little blue pill called Buspar. When I was on it, I was extra alert, calm, and focused. I wasn’t as forgetful, and the intense pain I felt in my chest when I was anxious didn’t come as much. A gentle, kind Navy doctor explained ….continue reading here