Taraji P. Henson Opens Up About Mental Health At Congressional Hearing

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Award-prevailing actress Taraji P. Henson spoke candidly approximately mental fitness troubles affecting teenagers inside the African American community at a congressional hearing on Friday. “I’m here to enchantment to you because it is a national disaster,” she stated. “I am here using my superstar, the use of my voice, to put a face to this because I also suffer from despair and tension,” she persevered. “If you’re a human residing in these days’ world, I don’t recognize the way you’re now not suffering in any manner.”

In April, the Congressional Black Caucus launched a mission force on mental fitness problems dealing with black teens. They have held some hearings on intellectual health stigma and the growing variety of suicides amongst black teenagers. Henson, who established the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, attended Friday’s hearing to speak about the inspiration’s work in addressing the problem.

She spoke on a extensive range of matters affecting younger children and teens in the black community — from the pervasive results of social media to the normalization of gun violence to the shortage of mental health schooling in American college structures. “We inside the African American network — we don’t address mental health issues,” stated Henson. “We don’t even communicate approximately it.”

Every year, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. Experience intellectual contamination, but a National Alliance on Mental Illness takes a look at found that 60% didn’t get hold of treatment and that black adults use intellectual health services at half of the rate of white adults. Among excessive faculty college students, black young adults are much more likely to try suicide than their non-Hispanic white counterparts — at a rate of 8.Nine% as compared to 6.Eight% — according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health.

Taraji P. Henson

Before Henson became an actress, she labored as a unique education teacher. She advised the Congressional Black Caucus approximately one in all her first studies inside the career. “I idea I was going to a college for special needs youngsters, and when I got there, I was in a room full of all black young men, labeled special ed,” she said. “None of them were in wheelchairs; they might all speak, they might stroll, they had all in their centers.”

But as Henson started speakme to the scholars, she discovered that many were returning each day to houses where no mother and father waited for them. “When I proceeded to try to teach those younger guys, they believed this label that was placed upon them — ‘I’m unique ed, Ms. Henson, I can’t analyze that,’” she stated. Henson’s basis is web hosting a convention on the stigma of mental infection inside the African American network in Washington starting Friday and going via the weekend. The proceeds will help fund remedy for African Americans who otherwise can’t have enough money. “We want every different. This is me attaining across the desk, looking to lend a supporting hand inside the nice manner I can,” Henson stated on the hearing. “We need to save our youngsters.”