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> Lessons in healing from black women's stories

Good mental health means having a positive sense of identity and sense of control over who you are. Mental distress can occur when a person feels overwhelmed by their emotions, life situations and pressures from the society we live in.

The latest briefing from the Centre for Emotional Health, Lessons in healing from black women's stories was commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation.  The briefing summarises black women's experiences of distress, recovery and the role and impact of professionals in healing. Lessons in healing from black women's stories reports that mental health professionals best support an individuals recovery when they engage with an individual's unique personal experiences on an emotional level and listen and learn about the pre-story of distress and its causes, rather than just managaing symptons.

Black women who have experienced mental distress have attributed many causes including family, social and cultural pressures.  Some women had experienced confusion about their identity due to tensions between cultural pressures and personal needs, whereby they felt that they weren’t allowed to be themselves. Many black women are affected by racism and discrimination, others grew up in cultures with strong expectations about women’s roles and behaviour, which they found limiting. Some women felt pressure from their families to hide their distress to avoid bringing shame to the family and disqualifying themselves from social and life events such as marriage.

Read Lessons in healing from black women's stories here.

Posted in Latest News on 17/06/2011

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