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I am a Sunflower, the Sunflower is Me

Guest Contributor: Arielle Skinner, LMSW

Author, I am a Sunflower, the Sunflower is Me


What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?

Black Mental Wellness, to me, means being intentional about creating space in our lives for vulnerability, healing, and safe spaces to honor our Black experiences. It means putting systems in place that consistently encourage wellness and further supports this intentionality.

How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?

Through the book, "I am a Sunflower, the Sunflower is Me" I wanted to be sure that Black girls felt seen and that the book created space for Black girls (particularly those in foster care) to heal, reflect, and feel affirmed. I believe the book creates space for Black girls to discuss topics with the adults in their lives. I also believe the book serves as a gentle reminder to those adults to continue to affirm, nurture, and encourage their Black girls to do and be everything they were created to be.


Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?

I am a licensed social worker at the LMSW level in the State of Maryland. I have lived and professional experience in child welfare (particularly foster care) and addressing complex trauma and a variety of diagnoses with primarily Black clients in an outpatient mental health setting.


Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?

I am a licensed social worker at the LMSW level in the State of Maryland. I have lived and professional experience in child welfare (particularly foster care), and addressing complex trauma and a variety of diagnoses with primarily Black clients in an outpatient mental health setting.


What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise (yoga instructor, clergy, mental health professional, etc.)?

I currently serve as a Treatment Foster Care Social Worker that oversees the holistic wellbeing of foster youth and encouraging them to engage in mental health services or engage in healing in ways that feel good to them. I facilitate a foster parent support