Updated: Feb 19, 2021
Tida Tambedou was born in Washington, DC, and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. She is currently attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she is pursuing a B.S in Psychology.
Tida developed a strong passion for mental health when she enrolled in Advanced Placement Psychology in high school. From there, she began to intern in mentoring and community health programs sponsored by the Girls Scouts of the Nation’s Capital (GSCNC). Observing how her mentees benefited from mental health techniques such as self-care and mindfulness contributed to her interest in psychology and mental health. As a Spelman student, Tida has had the opportunity to participate in on and off-campus internships, where she is able to exercise her passion for mental health.
As the secretary for the Spelman So Psyched Psychology Club, she has helped plan various events centered around mental health such as affordable self-care, mindfulness and meditation, and volunteer opportunities in mental health. Tida is very passionate about informing her Spelman community on the importance of mental health. Tida has also had the opportunity to volunteer at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC, where she played an administrative role in the Behavioral and Translational Science department.
Following graduation, Tida plans to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She is broadly interested in providing psychological services for women with marginalized backgrounds, particularly victims of domestic violence. Tida also plans to conduct research in domestic violence and mitigating factors such as substance abuse and psychiatric history.
Outside of school and other commitments, Tida enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and traveling abroad.
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
In my opinion, Black Mental Wellness means creating resources to help those in the Black community to better understand the importance of mental health and healthy coping mechanisms. In addition, I think the phrase emphasizes the importance of creating a safe space where Black people can feel comfortable discussing their experiences with mental health. Black Mental Wellness means collaborating with Black mental health professionals and advocates to develop culturally relevant material. Finally, Black Mental Wellness also encourages the expansion of access to mental health treatment for Black people in need.
Tell us about your educational and/or professional training and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?
I have had several research experiences that are mental health-related. For the past two summers I have participated in the Short Term Experience Program for Underrepresented Person (STEP-UP) where I conducted research at Children's National Medical Center in the Behavioral and Translational Science Department where I was a research intern. I had the opportunity to work on several projects. The first examined the executive functioning skills of parents with children with type 1 diabetes, and the second examined the psychosocial functioning and self-efficacy of the same population. This opportunity allowed me to understand how mental health is measured and assessed in a clinical setting. I also had several opportunities to shadow psychologists and psychiatrists and observe group therapy sessions.
My main take away from these experiences is that there is a need for diversity among mental health researchers and the participants. As a Black woman, I understand that our experiences impose unique challenges that influence our perception and use of coping strategies. I believe that more research studies need to be devoted to unpacking our experiences.
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?
Encouraging people to seek mental health treatment can be a challenge given the mental health stigmas that exist in the media and within certain communities. In my opinion, social media is a great tool to use to normalize the seeking of mental health treatment. Black Mental Wellness has made an excellent effort to inform the Black community on the importance of seeking treatment and supporting those in need. I also believe that being candid about our challenges with mental health with family and friends in casual conversations can be very encouraging.
Tida Tambedou is from Silver Spring Maryland and currently attends Spelman College.
She is dedicated to research in psychology, and she demonstrates this in her participation in the Research Initiative in Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program at Spelman College. She is currently engaged in her research in the identity shifting and gendered racial identity of Black women. Also, her participation in the Black Mental Wellness program has exposed her to strategies in which she can diversify her career as a future researcher and clinician.