With the rising rate of suicide, Empire star Taraji P. Henson wants more people to talk about mental health.
Taraji P. Henson, 48, who struggles with depression and anxiety, said more needs to be done to support people who are battling their mental health. Read on…
CelebNHealth247.com reports that Taraji P. Henson feels that more needs to be done to support people with mental health because the rising suicide rate is unacceptable.
Taraji P. Henson held the inaugural “Can We Talk?” Benefit Dinner for her foundation this past Friday Night in Washington D.C., a continuation of her work towards building mental health awareness in the African American community.
Taraji P. Henson says:
The suicide rate has taken off. It amazes me that 5-year-olds are contemplating suicide. That’s a word you shouldn’t even understand at five years old. We don’t talk about mental health, we don’t deal with it. For generations, we’ve been told it’s a weakness, to pray our problems away – and that’s just not gonna cut it.
I’m only one voice. I need help. If we can teach children about sex education and physical education, why not mental? That’s where we start attacking this issue: with the children.
The ‘Empire’ star believes she’s ”found [her] purpose” in helping other people get the care they need for their mental health.
Taraji goes on to say
I feel like I’ve really found my purpose. [But finding a therapist was hard.] It was like looking for a purple unicorn with a 24-carat-gold-horn. I say that jokingly, but it’s serious. The reason why we don’t have many psychiatrists of color, or psychologists of color, or therapists of color, is because we don’t talk about it at home.
Taraji has set up the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation last year, which she named after her father – who died in 2005 – and which aims to eradicate the stigma around mental health.
Speaking to People magazine, she said:
I felt that if a face or a personality you could trust would come forward to say, ‘Hey, you know, I suffered too – that would make others feel safe. I’ve had a few friends call me and say, ‘Bravo, thank you so much, you have no idea what I go through.’