Today we honor and commemorate George Floyd. After decades of systemic racism plaguing the Black community, and at the height of a global pandemic that was disproportionately harming Black and Brown bodies, Floyd’s death was the tipping point for many Black Americans, whose pain and trauma were amplified and put on display for the world to see as they protested and pleaded with society to believe in a simple notion: that Black lives matter.
In the year since Floyd’s death, we have unfortunately seen additional instances of police brutality against Black bodies, as well as a recent rise in violent attacks and hate-speech against the Asian American community, Anti-semitic remarks aimed at the Jewish community, and increasing racial disparities in every aspect of life, including housing, education, healthcare and yes, even travel.
As members of these marginalized groups share how their experiences with systemic and systematic racism have affected them and their communities, something significant becomes clear — despite unfathomable amounts of racial trauma within minority groups, there is not nearly enough emphasis on mental healthcare for the BIPOC community in our society. Travel + Leisure acknowledges the trauma and pain of these communities, and has gathered a number of mental health and wellness resources for the BIPOC community, as well as additional resources for allies who wish to support these communities.
AAKOMA Project: With the mission statement “Healing from the Heart,” the Aakoma Project wants to start the conversations on mental health early by offering BIPOC teenagers and their families resources and research about mental health and wellness. The Aakoma project hopes to lessen the inequality gap in mental healthcare by encouraging young members of the BIPOC community to begin conversations about mental health in their communities at an earlier age than previous generations.
ASHA International: Translating to “hope” in Sanskrit, ASHA International is a global wellness organization that promotes and provides resources for mental health for all communities affected by mental illness. Programming includes virtual therapy, a mental health expert speaker series, and community outreach, with the desire to be “a source of hope for all people” struggling with their mental health.
Asians for Mental Health: Created by Dr. Jenny Wang, Asians for Mental Health is a space for the Asian community to feel “seen, heard, and empowered” in the their mental health journey. The organization hosts a directory of Asian therapists around the country, and also has a substantial platform on Instagram where it hosts and promotes wellness seminars touching topics such as identity and how to talk to elders about racism and anti-Asian violence.
Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM): BEAM is an organization devoted to the emotional and mental health of Black communities. Mental health resources and toolkits for both BIPOC and allies can be found on their website, as well as programs such as “Black Healing Remixed” and “Black Masculinity Reimagined,” all aimed to foster community and connection to wellness in the Black community.
Black Mental Health Alliance: The BMHA is an organization committed to optimal mental health in Black people. As their mission statement explains, the alliance seeks to transform mental health in the Black community through developing and promoting educational forums and resources that “support the health and well-being of Black People and their communities.”
Ethel’s Club: This paid membership club offers a host of wellness-focused events, including guided meditations, group workouts, wellness salons, and art workshops, all aimed to help members on their journey to mind, body, and soul healing.
Exhale: The Exhale meditation app is specifically designed to cater to the needs of Black, Indigenous women of color (BIWOC). Curated by a team of BIWOC themselves, Exhale offers meditation, breath work, coaching talks, and affirmations to support and encourage the BIWOC community on focusing and prioritizing their mental health and well-being.
Inclusive Therapists: Inclusive Therapists is a comprehensive database that helps the BIPOC community connect with therapists who specialize in underrepresented and marginalized communities, including people of color, the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities. The goal of Inclusive Therapists is to connect BIPOC members with therapists who “celebrate their identity.” The organization also provides a number of resources for anyone looking to educate themselves more on the themes of Decoloniality, Intersectionality & Liberation.
Liberate: This meditation app was created by the BIPOC community for the BIPOC community. The app features content from more than 40 teachers with diverse backgrounds, offering meditations focused on healing from culturally based trauma such as micro-aggressions, internalized racism, and struggles with identity.
Native Son: The Native Son movement serves to amplify and elevate the voices, visibility, and experiences of Black gay/queer men. The organization offers programs and events such as the Black Gay Wellness Forum, which brings thought leaders, healthcare professionals, and fitness coaches together for a virtual experience that aims to educate and empower the Black gay/queer community in the world of health and wellness.
The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation: The mission of the The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation is to change the conversation surrounding mental health in the Black community by eradicating the stigma behind the topic of mental health. The foundation offers programs such as The Unspoken Curriculum, which focuses on the negative impact that racism in the U.S. school system has on Black students’ mental health, and free virtual therapy support for members of the Black community. The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation strives to help the Black community change the narrative, and celebrate the positives of mental health and wellness care.
Therapy for Black Girls: Therapy for Black Girls is an online platform created by licensed psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford that is devoted to the mental well-being of Black women and girls. The platform boasts a therapist directory, a “Black Girls Sister Circle” community forum, and a free podcast that focuses on making mental health topics more accessible to Black Women.
Therapy for Black Men: Therapy for Black Men is a dedicated space for Black men seeking mental health support that is specific to their needs, and provides a database where Black men can find therapists, coaches, and additional resources to help kick-start or continue their mental health journey.
Therapy for Queer People of Color: Therapy for Queer People of Color provides a comprehenseive directory of therapists for queer and trans people of color. The Atlanta-based organization puts an emphasis on the importance of access to quality and inclusive mental health resources for the LGBTQ+ community, and wants to help facilitate stronger connections between the LGBTQ+ community and the mental health and wellness community by hosting events such as virtual discussions and summits with leaders in the wellness industry.
In addition to these resources, allies who wish to support the BIPOC community can consider donating to organizations such as the NAACP, continuing to listen to members of these marginalized communities, and seeking additional resources to further educate themselves on systemic and systematic inequality.
Vanessa Wilkins is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Los Angeles. Follow her adventures on Twitter or Instagram.