Owner of Embrace MH LLC.
Author of Living with 2020 Vision: The Mental Health Awakening in the Black Community
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
Personally, Black Mental Wellness means not being afraid to acknowledge your own mental health journey. Black Mental Wellness is a choice where you decide to prioritize your mental wellbeing and get a better understanding of your mental and emotional health.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
With all the chaos of 2020, I found that the most effective way for me to promote change and well-being in the Black community is by normalizing conversations around mental health and wellness. Through my book, Living with 2020 Vision, I help you realize what your "2020 Vision" is, while promoting empathy and compassion through shared stories and experiences. Through my awareness brand www.embracemhllc.com, I also use my podcast EmbraceMH Podcast, to normalize conversations about mental health in 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?
I was recently a panelist in the Millennial Town Hall for the Black Mental Health Alliance (BMHA), speaking on the future impacts of COVID on the mental health of millennials. Additionally, during this week of Mental Health Awareness month, I have created an awareness pre-order campaign to promote my book and bring more awareness to the mental health awakening in the Black community.
Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?
I am a current graduate student at Georgetown University, obtaining a Masters in Public Relations and Corporate Communications.
What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise (yoga instructor, clergy, mental health professional, etc.)?
During my author journey, I have interviewed a lot of experts within the mental health space. I have gained continued guidance from APA 2021 President Dr. Jennifer Kelly, Executive Director of BMHA, members of the ADAA, CEO and Founder of Active Minds Alison Malmon, CEO and Founder of Inspiring Comfort, Jen Mar, just to name a few.
What are some things that we should know about your area of expertise?
My love for constant learning has helped me find my recent passion for crisis communications and mental health awareness. Ultimately, I hope to bring more awareness to the mental health crisis in the minority community through empathetic storytelling.
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?
I have yet to find the right resources to find the right mental health treatment for myself. That is why I have leaned into an advocate role, to be able to provide others with comfort by being able to share their own mental health experiences out loud.
What are your recommendations for ending stigma in the Black community?
I recommend beginning to normalize conversations around mental health to continue to change the stigmas around mental wellness in the Black community.
How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?
I am still learning which strategize work best me, however I am intentional about trying to take a self-care break once a week. Whether it be, taking time to watch a Netflix show by myself or planning to order my favorite meal after a long week at work, I understand that self-care is important to my mental wellness, so that I don't feel burnt out.
What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?
Sit and feel the feels
Going for a walk/ exercise
Netflix and chill (alone)
What resources do you find most helpful to encourage mental health and wellness?
Tiara Johnson is a current Georgetown University graduate student, owner of mental health awareness and lifestyle brand Embrace MH LLC., and author of Living with 2020 Vision: The Mental Health Awakening in the Black Community. She hopes to use her book to highlight how the compounding events of 2020 ultimately sparked a mental health awakening in the African American community