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Ph.D.’s Have Bipolar Too: My Story

Guest Contributor: Carol R. Ray, Ph. D.

Author, “Ph.D.’s Have Bipolar Too: My Story”

What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?

I define Black Mental Wellness, as being fully exposed to the topic of mental illness: its definition, in addition to utilizing successful coping skills when needed without the feelings of bondage of the stigma associated it.

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

I educate female inmates, about mental illness, and how they can remain hopeful in the midst of challenges.

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

I have a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Master of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from North Carolina A&T State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Spelman College. I am experienced with teaching the autistic population how to communicate and teaching them behavior modification. I am also experienced with speaking at Crisis Intervention Team Law Enforcement Trainings (informing them how to be more sensitive to those in a mental crisis).

How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?

We can encourage more people to seek mental health by ensuring them that having a mental illness is not the worst thing in the world. Also, ensuring them that there is life after a mental health diagnosis. One can successfully live with a mental illness as long as it is managed properly (whether that is through taking medication or seeing a mental health provider).

What are your recommendations for ending stigma in the Black community?

We, as African Americans, need to talk more about mental illness. Additionally, there should be more platforms where those who have a mental illness can share their stories. As a result, our community may feel more comfortable talking about mental illness.

Do you have an experience with seeking mental health treatment that you would like to share with the Black Mental Wellness audience?