Mental health and awareness surrounding the topic are extremely important to me. This woman making her-story is doing a great job bringing awareness to a topic that deserves more attention. Ashleigh thank you for sharing part of your experience with us.
Why is mental health awareness important to you:
Mental Health Awareness is important to me because it’s the foundation of our very being. If we aren’t in tune with our minds and attentive to our emotions , triggers and responses to certain situations, our ability to function in society goes down. Educating others through personal experience and research-based tips is my way of furthering mental health and pushing mental health awareness.
Where did the name the black gold series come from:
The name The Black Gold Series came to me while I was a junior in high school. I was sitting in history class and we had to watch one of those long history videos and take notes. The video was about the start of oil, and I noticed how they nicknamed it “black gold” because of the color and because it was profitable, in high demand, and helped individuals reach a certain level of success. I wanted to start a blog on mental health at the time, and decided that would be the name. I wanted it to not only be for mental health awareness for everyone, but to also have aspects that focus on mental health for minority men and women.
What does the book “The Perks of Being A Wall Flower” mean to you:
That book is my all-time favorite book! I first read it when I was in high school and at the time, I had just been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety and Social Anxiety disorders. Feeling misunderstood and lost because the responses of my peers to my diagnoses was either not taking it seriously at all or hearing the word “disorder” and overreacting. I felt totally misunderstood and struggled to find my voice not just as a person, but as a person with a whole new diagnosis I didn’t know I had before. Charlie the main character in the book, was in a similar situation, and the book showed him finding his voice as a person with anxiety and depression, but also as just a person. It helped me find my voice.
What do you do for self-care / mental health:
I’m a big believer in having a morning routine. This is for both self-care and mental health. A lot of studies show it increases productivity and happiness and I can attest to it, for sure! Meditating in the morning and setting my intentions for the day helps me clear my mind and prepare for the day. I also like to set aside time during my day where I put my phone on Do Not Disturb, just to have a mini break from social media.
What can we do to help the mental health stigma in the black community:
Educate, educate, educate! Many of us are either uneducated on mental health and want to learn or either uneducated and unwilling to learn. Those who want to learn, help them! Give them resources to learn and educate on their own time and be open to asking and answering questions. I also say to know how important our mental health is to our lives and functionality, and how serious it is and should be taken. It’s not just a demon to be prayed away, or a cry for attention. It’s a serious imbalance or illness that deserves attention and treatment.
Who are some mentors that you have:
One mentor that I have is Michelle Williams. I love that she is so open with her journey with mental health and how it should be taken seriously, even as Christians. I also look up to Dr. Kelsei LeAnn, she is a millennial therapist who literally does it all. She does affordable therapy, has a best-selling book, and offers daily advice through her twitter. She’s paving the way for women like myself, and she is my main inspiration for what I do.
What do you have planned for this year to help people with mental health:
I have so many things planned for this year! I’m planning to do more interactive things with my followers so I definitely want to do a mental health/self-care-based giveaway sometime soon. I also have different series planned for furthering mental education such as my Healthy Love series going on right now. A communication series will be coming soon. I’m planning to help with different communication skills for different audiences. In addition I will have a mental health education series for describing different disorders and their symptoms and treatments.
In February you are talking about focusing on Healthy love where can folks get more on this series:
My Healthy Love series is geared toward all ages and genders. The series can be found on my Instagram @theblackgoldseries . I will also have a few in-depth articles coming up on my blog soon so be sure to check it out. www.theblackgoldseries.com
Why do you think so many folks stay in toxic relationships:
My favorite novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” has a quote that I love: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I think people stay in toxic relationships because a part of their subconscious believes that it’s what they deserve. Their insecurities along with their toxic partner can lead them to believe that this relationship is all they can get and that this relationship is love because it’s all they will have, and it’s not true. If you’re in a toxic relationship, you deserve a love that fits and compliments you. Coming from experience, You are worthy of that. They aren’t worthy of YOU.
Ashleigh THANK YOU again for discussing such and important topic. I especially liked that you talk about mental health issues not just being able to be prayed away. A motto I myself like to say is “I believe in Jesus and therapy”. Be sure to check out what Ashley sites, you will not be disappointed.