July is Minority Mental Health Month, a month to spread awareness about how mental illnesses specifically affects people of color, and to erase the stigma and misinformation that plagues POC when it comes to mental illness. One way to spread awareness is through dialogue. I had a candid conversation with three black women writers (Ashley Reese, Minaa B, and Angelica Bastien) who deal with mental illness about how our mental health ― including depression, ADHD and suicidal thoughts ― affects our lives and our work.
Zeba Blay: I’ve been thinking a lot about identity. About how our identities shape the way we navigate the world, and how the world navigates us. When I think about myself, I think, “I’m black (first), I’m a woman, I’m a writer, and I’m mentally ill.”
I get to write about all these intersections of my identity in ways that really help me process my illness. But lately, in the wake of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and everything going on, writing has been hard. I’ve slipped into bouts of debilitating depression, and it’s all triggered by racism.
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