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Headshots of six Black mental health advocates
Blog May 15, 2024

Six Black Mental Health Champions You Should Know

Headshots of six Black mental health advocates

In the mental health space, representation is not only important, it's a game changer. The voices leading conversations around mental health support, awareness, and treatment can significantly impact how Black communities perceive and engage with mental health services. 

We're shining a light on six trailblazing Black mental health advocates who are breaking barriers, challenging stigmas, and providing a lifeline to many. These advocates not only offer invaluable insights and support but also reflect the diverse experiences and needs of those they serve. 

Dr. Thema Bryant

  • Dr. Thema Bryant uplifts messages of hope and resilience with a career dedicated to empowering individuals to overcome fear and trauma. A licensed psychologist, minister, and sacred artist, Dr. Bryant's contributions to psychology extend far beyond the therapeutic setting. With an academic and professional background that includes roles in clinical settings, public speaking, and authorship, Dr. Bryant is a prolific advocate for mental health awareness.

Kier Gaines

  • Kier Gaines is a licensed therapist, speaker, and content creator who's on a mission to change the way we think about wellness and self-care. With a warm, engaging approach, Gaines has a unique talent for making complex emotional concepts accessible to everyone. Whether he's sharing insights on social media or engaging with audiences during speaking events, his message seems clear: taking care of your mental health is foundational for living your best life.

Dr. Joy Harden Bradford and Therapy for Black Girls

  • Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is making sure Black girls have access to mental health resources when and where they need them. A licensed psychologist and speaker, she is also the visionary behind the mental wellness resource and directory Therapy for Black Girls. Through her platform, Dr. Bradford's work centers around destigmatizing therapy and making it accessible for Black women. Through her platform and podcast, she offers insights into the unique challenges Black women face.

Nedra Glover Tawwab

Dr. Judith Joseph

  • Manhattan-based psychiatrist, consultant, and content creator, Dr. Judith Joseph is renowned for her expertise in the mental health and wellness space. With a commitment to addressing the unique psychological challenges faced by communities of color, she has dedicated her career to promoting mental health equity, awareness, and accessibility. Her work spans clinical research, practice, and advocacy with a focus on psychological care that's inclusive of individuals' diverse experiences and backgrounds.

Dr. Howard Stevenson 

  • The University of Pennsylvania's Dr. Howard Stevenson is a psychologist, mental health advocate, and professor whose work centers on addressing racial stress and trauma as a means for people to alleviate its toxic impacts and reclaim their health and well-being. Dr. Stevenson has performed groundbreaking work in racial literacy and culturally responsive interventions, helping educational institutions and other organizations implement mental health strategies. His initiative, Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth (PLAAY),  was designed to teach young people and caregivers key strategies to manage stress during conflicts in school and their communities.

Voices like these are essential as our community moves toward healing, education, and advocacy to break down barriers and illuminate a path toward a healthier, more understanding world.

Is there a mental health advocate whose work has helped you navigate life? Let us know by tagging @NAACP on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.