Guest Contributor: Sosheina Whyte
Therapist and Educator, Tribal Talk
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
Black mental wellness is the good condition of the mind of persons who are ancestrally African. It is both an individual and collective call for people of colour who, through the lingering legacy of slavery, have had their identity and history tarnished to return to a sense of Black pride which will then translate into Black Mental Wellness. Black Mental Wellness is the offering of healing and wellness through culturally appropriate means. It is something we can all be a part of and own as ours. As a people, it is necessary for us to heal how we see self and how we pass on this state of wellness to the next generation in a bid to heal our race.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
I promote change and well-being in the Black community through the creation of my mental health brand, Roar Unleashed. Roar Unleashed is the brand for Black people that encourages them to fiercely protect their most valuable asset, the mind, through TALK.
I have also published two pieces of literature.
1. Lioness' Roar: Exposing the Dash 2010-2016. This book seeks to educate others about psychological abuse and empower them to ascend from it.
2. Mind Priority. This is an enriching mental health planner that, through an array of activities and Jamaican dialect affirmations, seeks to encourage and help persons to develop a habit of self-care and mental wellness.
I am the creator and host of an internet radio show called Tribal Talk which airs every Tuesday at 8pm on Presenzradio.com. This show aims at creating both the Sankofa and Ubuntu effect where every tribal member and listener is able to hear stories, receive information, and gain access to resources that will help them on their mental wellness journey.
I engage in therapeutic services for children, adolescents and adults through my work as a guidance counselor for a local community college as well as psychologist to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency in Jamaica.
I do speaking engagements, as well as execute workshops and seminars towards mental wellness.
Also... I recently signed up to be a Black Mental Wellness mentor. :-)
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?
The regular airing of Tribal Talk on Tuesdays at 8pm on presenzradio.com
The official launch of my Mental Health Planner- Mind Priority.
The collaborative launch of a master class with Tracey-Ann Harriage, founder of the Get Out Alive World Movement. This brand focuses on assistance for and empowerment of people who are victims of domestic violence.
Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?
I received a BA in Theology with a minor in Guidance and Counselling from Jamaica Theological Seminary, an MA with honors in Counseling Psychology from the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology, and a Dip. Education with honors from The University of the West Indies.
I am a member of the Jamaica Psychological Society. I received my licensure through the Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine. My area of expertise is in the field of counseling psychology is child and adolescent therapy, individual counseling, and group counseling. I am also an educator. I teach social sciences courses, including psychology courses.
What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise?
I am a therapist and educator as well as the creator of materials and literatures that promote mental wellness. I am also an empowerment speaker and workshop facilitator.
What are some things that we should know about your area of expertise?
I am always seeking ways to bridge the gap between the layman and the information about psychology. As such, there is always innovation and creativity present.
What are your recommendations for ending stigma in the Black community?
Education. Read more. Learn more. Social media presence. Each one teach one.
What can potential clients expect during an initial session? Follow up sessions?
Authenticity, a listening ear, and empathy. A therapist that is down to earth and that cares about them. Each client is a part of the collective of us and so I am committed to the clients healing.
Do you have an experience with seeking mental health treatment that you would like to share with the Black Mental Wellness audience?
I went through a divorce, and I had to talk to professionals so that I could get the stress off my chest and work through the pains. It helped.
How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?
I have a circle of friends that ensure that I am okay, and I them. We plan self-care routines, and we talk to each other about issues. My immediate family has a culture of checking in each day, a safety net of talking about the good, the bad, the ugly. I set personal boundaries and take staycations...after all I live in Jamaica.... As we say "Jamaica NO PROBLEM". I also use Mind Priority.
What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?
1. Setting boundaries.
2. Family staycations and road trips
3. Talking about my issues
4. Using Mind Priority
5. Going to the Spa
What resources do you find most helpful to encourage mental health and wellness?
1. Mind Priority
2. Wounded Survivor by Jheanell Reynolds
3. Purpose Awaits you by Avril Scarlett
4. Grab you some Lemons by Damien Marcus Williams
5. Sown in Tears by Dr. Jermaine McCalpin
Sosheina is an unapologetic black queen and a Licensed Associate Counseling Psychologist who is passionate about education and mental health. She received a B.A. degree in Theology with a minor in Guidance and Counseling from the Jamaica Theology Seminary, a Diploma in Education (hons) from the University of the West Indies and Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (hons) from the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology. Sosheina is a dynamic and multifaceted professional. She leverages her creativity, training, experience and effervescent personality to offer value as a writer, lecturer, Jamaican therapist, mental health consultant, workshop facilitator, trainer and an authentic, powerful, down-to-earth speaker.
She is also the host of the internet-radio talk show “Tribal Talk”, aired every Tuesday at 8pm on Presenzradio.com. The show focuses on exchange of information and resources as we seek to improve ourselves and others in personal and professional development as we move towards collective mental wellness in the spirit of Ubutu and Sankofa.