Taraji P. Henson is contributing to coronavirus aid through a new mental health initiative she's created! As Entertainment Tonight shares, Henson recently appeared on CNN's Global Town Hall.
While on the program, she told Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta about why she's chosen to partner with the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. The organization seeks to provide support towards the African American community, as well as other people of colour who are struggling because of coronavirus.
Henson talks about taking action to help those who are struggling
Henson mentioned how she instantly recognized the dramatic impact the coronavirus situation had on her community. "When COVID happened, my heart went out and I just knew that people were suffering and they're suffering alone in isolation," Henson explained. "I'm blessed. I can call my therapist. I can pay for it without thinking about it, but what about those who can't?"
Since Henson was aware of her privilege as well as the stigma surrounding mental health, she wanted to take action herself. "So we created a virtual fund-raising campaign for free sessions for people of color and, you know, disadvantaged neighborhoods," Henson shared, visibly emotional on air. "I'm so nervous. There is so much going on right now. My brain is just..."
And as Entertainment Tonight reports, psychologist and mental health researcher Alfiee Breeland-Noble also spoke during the interview about just how damaging the coronavirus is to the mental health of these communities in particular. "African Americans and people of color are disproportionately affected by not only the virus but the secondary mental health impacts associated with the virus," she shared.
Henson hopes for destigmatization of mental health in community
Henson also made reference to the recent killing of George Floyd— a black man from Minneapolis who was murdered after a police officer stood on his neck, suffocating him to death. "It's just like, it won't let up, you know? It's like I'm trying to stop a bleeding wound and it just keeps bleeding, you know?" Henson said, in tears as she spoke.
"But I'm raising money to help those who can't. It's tragic and it's traumatizing. And I mean, at this point it seems like we have to save ourselves." And while Henson says that her mental health campaign has already helped out many people, she hopes it becomes part of a greater change. "My hope is that we eradicate the stigma around mental health in the black community," she stated.