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Joy in Helping People Find Hope

Guest Contributor: Crystal Obasanya, LCSW

Crisis Counselor, Crystal OTv

What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?

To me, Black wellness is breaking through the mental health barriers created through societal or community stigma and systemic factors and taking care of our brains the way they need to be taken care of. Black wellness is overcoming the shame felt to seek therapy, asking for help, and not labeling a need for help as a sign of weakness. Black wellness is necessary and important but will only start when we realize our need for help and seek it out to tend to our mental health.

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

I promote change and well-being in the Black community by offering resources through my online mental health e-course, educational blog posts, Instagram posts, and YouTube videos. I also promote change by starting with myself — being an example of sharing my journey with my disorder as well as the need to heal and persevere.

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?

I do not have any upcoming events, but I do have an online eCourse that is in the process of being open for enrollment!

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

I graduated with a bachelors or science in Psychology and then went to Baylor to attain my master’s degree in social work (clinical track). After graduating, I sat for my licensure exam and attained my LMSW (Licensed Master of Social Work), and then, recently, I finished 3,000 hours of direct clinical practice, 2 years of clinical placement and 100 hours of supervision, which allows me to sit for my LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), which I passed! So, by the grace of God, I am officially a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. My current area of expertise is adults because that is what I currently work with daily. I enjoy working with children and families and wouldn’t mind the opportunity to practice with this population in the future. I am EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) trained and enjoy using solution focused therapy, TBRI, play therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

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