Black Mental Wellness Mentee
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
To me, Black mental wellness means normalizing that it is okay not to be okay. It also means that we are provided with adequate resources to help us cope with our stressors and move towards healing, as opposed to being stuck in trauma. It also involves highlighting the positive things that people within the Black community are doing to combat the negative light that media often portrays. Black mental wellness is a beautiful thing, and it is Black joy.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
I challenge myself to be understanding of others and their situations. Having a brother with mental disorders I understand the importance of not being so judgmental and I challenge my inner circle to do the same. Additionally, I do my best to be a listening ear and source of encouragement for those going through tribulations. Through these acts, I believe that I help shift the narrative and response around mental health to promote change and wellness within the Black community.
What are some upcoming events you are leading, that promote mental health and wellness, that you would like for our Black Mental Wellness audience to know about?
Next week I will be hosting a discussion and activity centered on rest and restoration alongside one of my Spelman sisters. This idea was birthed at Spelman College's WISDOM-Honors Convocation, where the importance of rest in the Black community was acknowledged. The event also emphasized how we seldom take time to praise others who participate in restorative practices. After this conversation, my Honors Director and I were intrigued to learn the different rest practices the student body had, but answers were few and far between. As a result, I noticed a critical need within the Spelman community to bring rest to the forefront of our scope alongside academic excellence. Through this event, I hope to provide a sense of inspiration to fellow Spelmanites and catalyze rejuvenation after a daunting semester.
What wellness strategies do you think should be given more attention within the Black community? Are there any reasons why you think they are not given more attention?
There should be less attention given to wellness strategies associated with cost that only lead to short-lived wellness, such as getting one's nails or hair done or going on a shopping spree. Instead, we should focus more on restorative practices with long-term benefits such as yoga, meditation, journaling, mindfulness, etc. I think society shapes us to believe that pampering is a form of wellness and is, therefore, something the Black community ascribes to. Due to the laser focus on extrinsic factors, the value of internal wealth is in turn undermined and neglected. Although I see nothing wrong with treating one's self to nice things here and there, it cannot be the only way you care and reward yourself. I would love to see a Black community where we are eager to pamper our souls and not our bodies as an act of self-care.
Tajah Pinkard is a senior Psychology major with a concentration in Mental Health at Spelman College. She enjoys listening to music, watching her favorite tv shows, creative writing, and, most of all, spending quality time with her family and friends. While at Spelman, Tajah has fulfilled duties as an Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program scholar, Resident Advisor, Event Coordinator of Psychology Club, and member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Psi Chi International Honor Society. However, her favorite role is being a first-generation college student on the Dean's List. Proving that despite the disadvantages one faces, they are still capable of excellence when provided with proper resources. She currently serves as Co-President for Spelman’s Psychology Club and an undergraduate practicum student with the Grady Nia Project, where she is gaining clinical observation in preparation for her future career. After graduating in May 2021, Tajah plans to attend graduate school with aspirations of becoming a counseling professional for children and adolescents, both in and outside the K-12 education system.