Los Angeles, April 9 | Actress Taraji P. Henson has set-up an initiative to provide free therapy to underserved communities impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Mental health services have been front of mind for many amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Henson is stepping up in an effort to provide free tele-therapy sessions to African Americans in underserved communities, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
The actress, who has made mental health services a priority through her Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (BLHF), has launched the COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Campaign to raise money to cover the costs of mental health services delivered by licensed and culturally competent clinicians.
It will be exclusive to individuals and families who have been directly impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
“It’s our priority to provide care to those in need, who do not have accessibility or the ability to afford culturally competent therapists. We also need to remove the stigma around mental illness. It’s okay not to be okay,” says BLHF executive director Tracie Jade Jenkins.
Henson launched BLHF in 2018 in honour of her father, who suffered with mental health challenges as a result of his tour of duty in the Vietnam War. At the time of its launch, Henson told The Hollywood Reporter that she wishes more people talked about mental health issues, particularly in the African American community, especially men.
Now, her initiative comes at a time when data has surfaced showing how COVID-19 disproportionately affects members of the black community, particular in major cities such as Chicago, New Orleans and Detroit.