top of page

The Unapologetic Guide To Black Mental Health By Rheeda Walker (Book Review)

Hey Lovelies,

I finally finished reading a profound prose about the mental health crisis plaguing the Black community.

I first heard about this book at a African American Mental Health Discussion hosted by H.O.P.E.F.U.L. Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping underserved African American communities in Sacramento, CA.

I became fascinated with the idea of psychological fortitude, a term I had never heard before I attended the virtual discussion to encourage emotional health and better ways for Black people to manage stress.

I wanted to know more about this concept and how to help others unlock Black mental health and well-being which so often gets ignored sadly by the mental health industry.

This book allowed me to make a crucial self assessment about my psychological fortitude or “PF” which is a rating system used to measure your ability to focus during challenging situations in daily life.

On a scale of 1-10 a PF level of ten would indicate you are feeling phenomenal to the point where nothing can break you where as seven means you’re okay and can recover from stress knowing it shall pass.

However if your PF is currently hovering around 0-3 you are completely overwhelmed and may not be sure if you can go on with life.

For a long time I was feeling like four or five at best and telling people I was a seven or above.

It’s not uncommon for us as Black women to take on more than we can handle because we don’t want to be perceived as weak or helpless.

But the truth is we cannot do everything all at once, at least not all by ourselves.

We don’t even realize we have the power to change the stigmas and oppressive system to increase our mental health but it starts by facing our own problems at home first.

Living in fear of being shot is not freedom.

Denying your African-ness is not freedom.

Rather than “calling in black” and staying home from work due to stress caused by the killings of unarmed black men we need to use our cultural tools to forge a path towards healing ourselves and one another.