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Aside from acting, Taraji P. Henson is concerned about mental health in the Black community, so much so that she’s launched a nonprofit organization called The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which encourages people of color to discuss mental health.
The foundation is named after her father, and hits close to home two fold as her “son struggled with mental health after his father was murdered in 2003,” Complex reports.
Henson told E! News that the discussion around mental health is important because no one talks about it in the Black community.
“When you talk about mental illness…there’s so much stigma around it – especially in the African-American community. It’s passed down through generations that you have to be strong. It’s weak if you talk about a mental illness or it’s demonized, and that’s not healthy.”
Henson continued saying, “If you turn on the news, anybody that’s human – Black, White, Asian – it doesn’t matter. You turn the news on and that’s PTSD instantly. It’s time to have an open dialogue. Put a celebrity face to it, and say, ‘Hey, I go see my shrink once a week. It’s okay. It’s hard out here.”
According to Metro, the foundation “will provide scholarships to African-American students majoring in mental health, offer mental health services to youth in urban schools and work to lower the recidivism of African-American men and women.”