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Actress and mental health advocate Taraji P Henson’s Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (BLHF) on Wednesday (April 15) launched a COVID-19 virtual therapy initiative, which will serve communities of color as they navigate major life changes triggered by the coronavirus crisis. “(BLHF) recognizes that during this difficult time, affording the cost of mental health services can be a barrier in the African-American community,” read a statement posted on the BLHF web site. “Having to choose between a meal and mental health is not something that one should ever have to ponder.”

BLHF is a non-profit founded by Henson and executive director Tracie Jade Jenkins in 2018. The organization was named after Henson’s late father, who struggled with mental health issues. The group’s goal, according to its web site, is to “provide support and bring awareness to mental health issues that plague our community.” In a 2019 interview with Variety, Henson explained that this cause is very personal for her.

“We’re walking around broken, wounded and hurt, and we don’t think it’s OK to talk about it,” she told Variety. “We don’t talk about it at home. It’s shunned. It’s something that makes you look weak. We’re told to pray it away. Everyone was always asking me, ‘Do you have a charity?’ Well, dammit, this is going to be my calling, because I’m sick of this. People are killing themselves. People are numbing out on drugs. Not everything is fixed with a pill.”

Now, as the world is ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, BLHF is extending a hand to those underserved communities that might not know where to turn as they struggle to cope. “COVID-19 has had a profound and unprecedented impact on all of our daily lives,” BLHF said on its site. “Social distancing, unemployment, sudden loss, are all drastic changes that can bring, what feels like, unbearable stress and anxiety into anyone’s life.” 

Starting on April 15, those in need of emotional support can register here for “up to 5 free therapy sessions with culturally competent clinicians in our Resource Guide,” according to an emailed statement from BLHF. As Henson says, “No one should have to suffer in silence.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

🙏🏾💋💋💋 #Repost @blhensonfoundation • On April 15th, BLHF will open registration for those who are in need of emotional support during this time of uncertainty. We want you to know that you are not alone, there is help on the other side of “yes”. We are all struggling to make it make sense and at times, just need someone to listen, to connect with, someone to offer tools to help slowly put the pieces back together… Visit BLHF’s website (link in bio) beginning April 15th and register to begin the process of healing. We are offering up to 5 free therapy sessions with culturally competent clinicians in our Resource Guide for those in underserved communities impacted by COVID-19. Share this post and tell a friend.🙏🏽 . We’re in this together! ❤️❤️❤️ #canwetalk #borislhensonfoundation #mentalhealthmatters #wegotyou

A post shared by taraji p henson (@tarajiphenson) on Apr 14, 2020 at 2:59pm PDT