Brown Skin Women’s (BSW) next Goal Digging Women spotlight is on Riana Anderson (Ri) and Shawn Jones (CT), Psychologist and creators of Our Mental Health Minute (OurMHM). OurMHM’s vision is to reduce stigma, provide resources and increase mental health literacy within the black community. This feature is the launch of BSW and OurMHM blog series and virtual conference. Learn more about Ri and CT below and stay tuned for future video/blog series and live streamed conference details in coming weeks.
First, I’d like to begin by sharing how stoked I am about this feature. For those of you who have followed me and this natural living blog for any period of time, you know I place a huge emphasis on the need for my mental health and wellness. My personal experience and results of urban trauma has led me through a journey of trying traditional (yet uncommon in the black community) methods of growth. After experiencing the growth potential I have desired to normalize therapeutic methods historically shamed within the black community. When I read Ri and CT’s feature in the Huffington Post I immediately stalked their YouTube channel (#noshame) and eventually reached out. A dynamic pair of Psychologists who were also black!? One great phone conversation later we are here…
Brown Skin Women: How long has OurMHM been in existence?
Ri and Shawn: 6 months
Brown Skin Women: What is your greatest challenge with keeping it going?
Ri and Shawn: It is challenging because we are both full-time researchers and clinicians. OurMHM is a side project that we both love dearly, but it requires time away from our work. In academia, you get often rewarded through publications – this isn’t quite regarded as such!
Brown Skin Women: If the BSW network could support you within this amazing venture in what way would it be?
Ri and Shawn: Mental health issues definitely differ by sex, so reaching out to Black women about their personal health and well-being is paramount to us. We would love to understand what concerns women have so that we can specifically address them.
Brown Skin Women: BSW highlights brands by Goal Digging Women (and in this case men) chasing their dreams and sharing their stories. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Ri and Shawn: The advice I would give to my younger self is to not care about what others think and to chase my dreams with reckless abandon. I was quite captivated by what others thought of me in my 20s, and as a carefree 32-year-old, chillleee…I am so happy about what I can do!
Brown Skin Women: What advice would you give to a fellow woman on the entrepreneurial path?
Ri and Shawn: There are hiccups on the path of life that are both manufactured and real. Try your best to steer clear of the “real” hiccups (e.g., staff conflict, productivity/procrastination issues) and reduce the “manufactured” hiccups (e.g., imposter syndrome, negative circles). It’s important to have a support system around you that uplifts you and also keeps you present-minded and you-focused. When you compare your accomplishments to others or what you have not done, you are more likely to lose sight of what you ARE doing well.
Brown Skin Women is thrilled about the Our Mental Health Minute series collaboration with Ri and Shawn. Encouraging everyday women of color to prioritize her own health and wellness while achieving her goals “with reckless abandon”. A peak into their black boy fly and black girl magic: