Shayla R. Colbert, Black Mental Wellness Ambassador
My name is Shayla R. Colbert and I obtained my Bachelor of Science from Wayne State University in Business Administration, with a concentration in management. Go Warriors! I am a mother of two (a college freshman and a 4th grader). They both keep me busy, but the work is so rewarding. I have worked in accounting for the past 10 years.
My invitation to become the Black Mental Wellness Ambassador came by surprise, but I am so grateful for the opportunity and recognition. Therapy positively impacted my life as I coped with the aftermath of my divorce. I was emotionally and mentally depleted. I needed a mental and emotional “regroup & recharge.” I was able to self-evaluate and discover my new self, while understanding my old self. It was at this time, I committed myself to individual therapy.
Through this emotional, yet awakening period of my life, my therapist helped put things in perspective and challenged my way of thinking through asking simple questions. In addition to our therapy sessions, I asked for recommended readings to help me gain a better understanding of what I was experiencing at that time. This new discovery and new found understanding was so exhilarating for me! I wanted anyone who would listen and who was open to seeking professional support to join me in my journey of self-discovery, as I believe we all could benefit from therapy in one way or another.
Thus, I was pleased to hear that a near and dear friend of mine, Dr. Danielle R. Busby, PhD, and her well versed and esteemed colleagues started Black Mental Wellness, Corp. Black Mental Wellness is a movement, and will be a lifestyle for many to adopt! I was so grateful and surprised to be named a Brand Ambassador and hope that the team is pleased with my efforts of supporting their vision, just as much as I am pleased and impressed with their efforts!
What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness in the Black community?
Simple, by being an example and not only talking about it, but engaging in what I am promoting. Whether it be therapy, mediation, volunteering or simply providing a resource when needed or listening ear when I can.
What is a recent event you have led to promote mental health and wellness?
Make-up & Mental Wellness, this event was created to help reduce the stigma of seeking a therapist and committing to therapy, while addressing common barriers of why therapy is not often sought after among Black women - with a girl’s best friend, make-up of course! This took place in a very comfortable and familiar environment, a hair salon!
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?
Continue to talk about it, post about it, keep the conversation going and post relevant material in regards to what people in our community face and provide solutions, coping strategies and resources.
What are your top 5 wellness & self-care strategies?
Pay yourself first (this came from my dad, when you get paid, do something for yourself first or set aside money for something you wanted).
Don’t overbook, space out appointments when you can and do not try to commit yourself to everything asked of you.
Meditate or pray every morning (this is a major key and a great way to start your day).
Take time out to really listen before speaking, repeat what that person said back to them, just to make sure you got the right understanding and they know you are listening.
RELAX! Try to practice this more often, sometimes we can be on edge or constantly thinking when sometimes we just need to… Relax!