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Mental health conditions have long carried a stigma with it, particularly when it comes to the Black community.
According to a recent study, 63% of Black people believe that having a mental health condition is a sign of weakness. This has led to a significantly reduced use of mental health resources as compared to their white peers.
So when Black celebrities step up to share their mental health struggles and their decision to go to therapy, it can have a huge impact. Their position as role models carries weight and can influence their own community’s views.
Below, we gathered a list of celebrities who have openly discussed — and endorsed — therapy as a tool to treat mental health issues.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health condition, check out MyTherapist to learn more about your options, including options for online therapy.
1. Michael B. Jordan
“Honestly, therapy, just talking to somebody just helped me out a lot. As a man you get a lot of slack for it … I don’t really subscribe to that. Everyone needs to unpack and talk.”
2. Taraji P. Henson
“You can talk to your friends, but you need a professional who can give you exercises. So that when you’re on the ledge, you have things to say to yourself that will get you off that ledge and past your weakest moments.”
3. Gabrielle Union
“You need to find a way to talk about the darkest parts of your life. I’ve been in therapy for the last 25 years. Whatever path you need to take to heal, it’s the best one.”
4. Big Sean
“I just felt lost. You know what I’m saying? I didn’t know how I got there. I’ve been meditating since I was 17 years old. You know, that helps with anxiety, depression all those things. All those things that I felt. But it wasn’t doing it all the way for this, so I knew that this required some special attention.
“So what I did was, I started therapy. I got a good therapist. You know what I’m saying? I was blessed enough to talk to some super-spiritual people. And they made me realize one thing that I was missing in my life, and that was clarity.”
5. Brandon Marshall
“It’s extremely important that every time something comes up, I reach out to someone and let someone in, no matter how hard it is or difficult it is to express those feelings.”
6. Halle Berry
“I’ve done therapy on an as-needed basis since I was probably 10 years old. My father was an alcoholic and a very abusive one, and my mother knew the value of providing me with the outlet of an unbiased person to talk to. So I’ve done that all my life when times get stressful. It really helps me deal with stuff.”
7. Kerry Washington
“Therapy helped me realize that maybe it’s okay for me to communicate my feelings. Instead of literally stuffing them down with food, maybe it’s okay for me to express myself.
“I say that publicly because I think it’s really important to take the stigma away from mental health. My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn’t I go to a shrink?”
8. Kelly Rowland
“I realized I didn’t want to try to figure things out by myself. I can try as much as I can, but doing it all myself, I’d end up driving myself insane, circling the same situation and same problem over and over again. You can’t walk around like a ticking time bomb.”
9. Jay Z
“The most important thing I got is that everything is connected. Every emotion is connected and it comes from somewhere. And just being aware of it. Being aware of it in everyday life puts you at such a… you’re at such an advantage.”
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Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.