Guest Contributor: Anita O'Neal, CPA
Certified Public Accountant
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
Black Mental Wellness means focusing on the aspects of life that bring us down and investing the necessary resources (time, money, energy) to manage them appropriately.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
At Powerful People Plan we focus on supporting Black women as they work toward financial freedom and generational wealth. Sometimes money becomes a huge source of mental anguish for the Black community. Either there isn't enough coming in or there is too much going out. There is an embarrassment and hopelessness from past financial mistakes that promotes inaction in this area of their lives. We are here to let everyone know that you can work through all of that by learning how to properly budget and manage your money. And we are here to walk alongside you and support you. If you don't have the time or space to learn we offer "do it for you" solutions. Our goal is to make sure that our community has a plan for their money no matter who is in the driver seat creating it.
What are some of your upcoming events you are leading, that promote mental health and wellness, that you would like for our Black Mental Wellness audience to know about?
Getting your finances in order often creates clarity and frees up mental space to focus on other areas in your life. Monthly, we host either a webinar on a financial topic or an Instagram Live interviewing other Black community experts. Check our website, https://powerfulpeopleplan.com/ and follow us on IG for upcoming events.
Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?
I have a BBA from University of Michigan; MBA from Cornell University. I am a Certified Public Accountant and have been running my practice, Powerful People Plan, since 2008.
What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise?
We promote mental health and wellness by helping our clients get control of their finances and not letting their finances control them.
What are some things that we should know about your area of expertise?
Managing your money doesn't have to be a great feat. Having a budget doesn't have to be a restrictive thing. There is freedom that can be found in your finances. You can have a good relationship with money. You just have to invest some of your resources into this area to make it look the way that brings your joy and pride instead of disappointment and anguish.
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment? What are your recommendations for ending stigma in the Black community?
Personally, I try to share that I have a therapist as a proactive measure to my wellness. By being open and sharing personal struggles and how we leaned on the professional health experts to help us through.
What can potential clients expect during an initial session? Follow up sessions?
A conversation about the current relationship with money with encouragement sprinkled throughout. We have had the privilege to walk alongside over 60 clients on their journey in the last 3 years alone. Chances are your situation isn't the first that we have seen and supported. We will let you know that you are not alone. And if it makes sense, we will recommend a path forward that will help you get more clarity and control of your daily money management.
Coach Anita O'Neal: Coach Anita O'Neal, CPA is a highly accomplished financial coach who earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Michigan, followed by an M.B.A from Cornell University. Since her time in undergrad, she has been leading the charge at Powerful People Plan. Inspired by her mother's success in achieving financial freedom, Coach Anita was determined to follow in her footsteps. Earning less than $40,000 annually, her single mother managed to become debt-free, purchase a home, and save $20,000 for Anita and her brother's college education. Despite her mother's financial successes, money was never a topic of discussion in their home. Due to her lack of financial knowledge, Coach Anita made her own share of mistakes along her financial journey. Coach Anita firmly believes that learning about finances can significantly reduce the time it takes for individuals to achieve financial independence and alter the financial path of their families for the better. Specializing in budgeting and planning, she has devoted her career to guiding her clients towards financial stability. She firmly believes that once they achieve financial peace, they can do what God called them to do and be who God called them to be.