Happy Black History Month!

This year’s theme is Black Health and Wellness. The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the awareness of racial injustice and health inequities, so much so that racism was named “a serious public health threat” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that from 2010-2019, Black people were more likely to be uninsured compared to White counterparts. In 2020, the pandemic increased those rates.

Thanks to data, we also have staggering numbers that show the challenges of Black Health and Wellness.

  • 25% of Black adults did not have a primary doctor
  • 20% did not have a routine exam in the past year
  • 15% didn’t see a doctor in the past year due to costs
  • 38% had no dental care in the past year

But there are even more challenges that impact access to healthcare and overall health outcomes for Black men, women, and children. This year, let’s commit ourselves to seeking out the proper health and wellness resources we need to live our very best lives. Here is a list of holistic resources:

General Healthcare

Health In Her HUE is a downloadable app for Black women and women of color. You can use it to find providers in health care, covering a variety of health and wellness areas. The app includes provider profiles, health information, and a community forum.

BEAM – Black Virtual Wellness Directory is a directory that will help you find wellness providers in your area, anything from therapy to yoga. Give it a try!

Therapy Services

These are a few directories that will help you find assistance in your area. You can choose to attend in-person or virtually through telehealth appointments. These will help you identify the type of provider you want to find, whether that is based on race, ethnicity, cost, etc.

Therapy For Black Girls is a great resource that not only offers therapy, but also has a podcast and blog. This is available to you with or without insurance.

Affordable Counseling | Affordable Therapy | Open Path Collective helps you find a therapist after you sign up for a lifetime membership ($30-$60 per session).

Find The Best Therapists & Psychiatrists Near You — Zencare is another way to find the perfect therapist for you, but you can also schedule a free call before your first appointment.

Ayana Therapy | Online Mental Health Center  has a monthly flat fee. Just fill out a questionnaire and get matched with a licensed counselor.

The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, founded by Taraji P. Henson, offers five free sessions to individuals who are seeking mental health care.

BetterHelp – Thoughtful Human offers one free month of therapy services and allows you to connect via chat, messaging, telephone, or video calls.

If you are insured, check with your insurance company to determine if they have copay waivers. Currently, Medicaid has a list of providers that are available with no out-of-pocket expenses and Blue Cross Blue Shield is offering copay waivers for in-network telehealth therapy.

As difficult moments arise, trying to navigate work/life balance during a pandemic, while also living your best holistically (financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially) cared for life, take the time to FILL your own cup. This month, especially, make Black history by prioritizing your health and wellness. If you need guidance, here are a few ways to cope with Feeling Overwhelmed by Racism and Coping with Collective Trauma.

Ashley Townes

Ashley Townes

PhD, MPH, Epidemiologist at Centers for Disease Control
Dr. Ashley Townes (she/her/hers), is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended Walnut Hills High School and the University of Cincinnati, where she received both her Bachelors and Master of Public Health degrees. She received her doctorate degree in Health Behavior and Epidemiology from Indiana University.

Dr. Townes has experience working as a Community Health Educator and Disease Intervention Specialist in Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. She has worked on several initiatives related to the dissemination of national HIV prevention and care campaign materials tailored for African Americans, Hispanic/Latinx, and transgender women of color. Dr. Townes has taught collegiate-level Human Sexuality courses, served as an Epidemiologist at the Ohio Department of Health, and currently works as an ORISE Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention’s Epidemiology Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA.

Ashley’s research background includes work on the sexual experiences of African American/Black women accessing health information and utilizing sexual health services. In 2018, she received grant funding from the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health to translate sexual health research data into educational materials. Her career interests are aimed at providing quality sexual education and working towards health equity.