Minority Mental Health Advocate: Davia Roberts
"We deserve to experience wholeness and healing." -Davia
Tell us about the work you do and how you got started.
I have the honor of working as a licensed therapist with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. I've been doing this specialized work for over a year. When I'm not in the office, I run a wellness blog called Redefine Enough for women of color to explore mental health and healthier lifestyles. We recently started a monthly #RedefineMentalHealth twitter chat, a Facebook wellness group, a book club, and a biweekly mental health podcast called AFFIRM.
At my core, I want more women of color to learn about mental health and wellness so they can lead full and whole lives. Redefine Enough is just one extension of my effort to make mental health a valued component of life.
Why does minority mental health matter to you?
When I was growing up, mental health was never discussed. If it was mentioned, it was hidden like a dirty secret or dismissed as a "white thing." But communities of color are not immune to mental illness. If anything, we're exposed to more trauma due to oppression and need to know how to take care of our mental health. If we continue to neglect our mental health, our bodies and spirits suffer. We deserve to experience wholeness and healing.
What would you tell your younger self?
I'd tell my younger self that caring for my mental health does not equate to something being "wrong" with me. I'd encourage my younger self to reach out for support instead of trying to handle every emotion alone... I'd share the wisdom that sometimes, the best support can come from a total stranger, like a therapist...and there's no shame in that.