Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, My name is Michelle. I am 25 years old and I’m from Chicago! I LOVE music, gummie candies, working out, traveling the world and going to festivals/shows/events (especially those supporting friends).
What kind of activism are you doing in your community in regards to mental health?
I am working on creating accessibility to mental health resources and creative art outlets to underserved people of color (POC) in Chicago. Good health is about more than one’s physical being and everyone should have access to these resources.
What inspired you to take action in the world of mental health?
I have a family history of mental health issues and as a result, am passionate about mental health advocacy. I was always empathetic to those who were living with mental issues but grew even more passionate in college. During that time, I was in need of support and my own paths to coping and healing. It was then I began to realize the lack of resources specific to POC, which was largely due to the lack of representation of POC in the mental health community.
I started doing more and more research and realized that cultural stigma and general lack of understanding kept POC from receiving the help they needed. In the POC community, we are taught to work through our problems and not to share them. Nobody has time to stop and think about their mental wellbeing or seek out the appropriate resources.
In my time spent volunteering, I realized that something needed to be done for the younger POC community. I think the more education on mental health topics and issues, the better. Once the right education and the right coping mechanisms are instilled, mental wellbeing will look different in POC communities.
How can our community support you and your work moving forward?
Continue to support your friends, check in on them and see how they’re doing. Talk it out and be soundboards for each other. Healing starts with talking it out with the people around you!
How can people contact you if they would like to connect with you or support you further?
Thank you, Unpolished Journey, for creating a safe space!