Guest Contributor: Crystal Ngumezi
Founder/CEO, The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
To me, black mental wellness means overall health: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
I started The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization to significantly change the lives of young black and brown female students attending public schools in low-income communities across Texas, by promoting positive mental health practices through free enrichment programs, STEM education, female mentorship, and positive female representation. Between the ages of 13 and 18, a massive gap in leadership ambition emerges between girls and boys living in impoverished communities due to a lack of leadership opportunities, enrichment programs, stable home environments, quality educational resources, and positive female representation. In public schools, the graduation rate for black and brown students was significantly lower than their white peers, reportedly averaging below the median U.S. graduation rate. Blacks represent only 9% of STEM workers, with just 7% graduating with a STEM related bachelor’s degree. Only 7% of CEOs at Fortune 500 Companies are female, and of those 7%, only 2% are black.
Through The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization, black and brown middle and high school female students participate in virtual programming and mentorship where they engage in a curriculum based on four core principles: female empowerment, STEM exposure, college readiness, and professional etiquette training. With professional black women as mentors, girls in P31 Academy learn how to become confident, explore STEM educational opportunities, prepare for graduating high school, and walk boldly into their professional careers.
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 lead social and community service events through my nonprofit, The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization. Follow us on social media @p31womenorg to learn more!
Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?
After experiencing depression and anxiety for over year, I dove into mental health studies, research, and wellness practices. This internal work birthed my nonprofit organization, which has served over 100 under-served female teens from underprivileged communities across Texas.
What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise?
The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization and my ministry lead online. (Learn More: @p31womenorg, @crystalngumezi, @moderndayp31woman).
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?
Transparency, and providing information using social media and community portals.
What are your recommendations for ending stigma in the Black community?
Sharing our stories more and opening up about our levels of transformation as a result of being vulnerable and taking action.
What can potential clients expect during an initial session? Follow up sessions?
For business, branding and social media consultation: One-on-One Brand Consultation & Strategy Session is a 60-min phone session providing female entrepreneurs/aspiring entrepreneurs business coaching, brand training, and social media strategy in the fashion, creative, and nonprofit fields of industry
Do you have an experience with seeking mental health treatment that you would like to share with the Black Mental Wellness audience?
Better Help is a great resource for finding Black Christian therapists.
What wellness strategies do you think should be given more attention within the Black community? Are there any reasons why you think they are not given more attention?
Faith practices that connect us spiritually to our Maker (ex: prayer, meditating on scripture, seeking God, building a foundational relationship with God). I believe the negative stigma connected to "religion" has placed a burden on building an actual authentic relationship with God, leading to an increase in mental health issues across the country and within our communities.
How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?
Intentionality and a discipline that is practiced out daily.
What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?
Prayer, reading scripture, spending time talking to God and hearing from him, doing the things that bring me joy (creating, stretching, exercise), spending time with family and loved ones.
What resources do you find most helpful to encourage mental health and wellness? The Bible, and books about neurology, psychology and mental health from psychologists and Ph.D.'s.
Crystal Ngumezi is the Founder/CEO of The Proverbs 31 Women’s Organization, and a Fashion Blogger, Influencer, and Entrepreneur from Houston, TX. As a skilled professional with a B.S in Mechanical Engineering from UTSA, Crystal uses her professional acumen in mechanical engineering, logistics, supply chain management, leadership development, sales, marketing, and process improvement to market her brands online, build businesses, and scale. With B2B and B2C lead generator experience, Crystal is a consultant for for-profit and nonprofit business startups. As a developer of digital products, services, and marketing campaigns marketed across the U.S., Crystal uses her online marketing experience in SEO, Google Analytics, Facebook Ad Campaigns, Brand Strategy, and Social Media Marketing to help women build better brands, market more strategically online, and earn revenue using social media.