“We Have To Save Our Children” Taraji P. Henson Makes Emotional Plea To Congress

by Taylor Handberry Staggers

June 10, 2019

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Taraji P. Henson sat before the Congressional Black Caucus on Friday to discuss issues of mental illness and suicide affecting today’s black youth.

During her emotional opening statement, the actress and philanthropist shared stories of her own struggles and trauma faced by her son after losing both his father and grandfather (Henson’s father) in a short period of time.

She went on to say that after seeking help for herself and her son she realized the small number of professionals that were “culturally competent” to the need of her family and the needs of black families in general.

Revealing that she suffers from depression and anxiety, the mother of one feels personally invested and impacted by the harrowing truths surrounding mental illness and the black community.

“We in the African American community — we don’t deal with mental health issues,” said Henson. “We don’t even talk about it.”

Becoming an advocate for the cause, the Washington, DC native started the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. This organization hopes to bring awareness and break the stigma of mental health issues in The African American community.

TELL US: What steps do you feel should be taken to tackle mental health within the black community?

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