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July is BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month (Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color)

For the month of July, we’re honoring the unique experiences and mental health challenges of Black and Indigenous individuals and their communities. The wide spectrum of experience by BIPOC for race-based discrimination can have a variety of detrimental psychological impacts including depression, anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, recurring or racing thoughts, and even physical reactions like headaches or insomnia. For some individuals, it can lead to symptoms like those experienced with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Racial trauma refers to the mental and emotional harm caused by experiencing racial bias, discrimination, racism, and hate crimes. Any individual that has been through an emotionally painful, sudden, and uncontrollable racist encounter is at risk of suffering from a race-based traumatic stress injury. In the United States, Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are most vulnerable to these stressors due to living under a system of white supremacy.

It’s important for those who have experienced harm or would just like extra support to seek therapy from a multicultural or racial trauma-informed therapist as well as seek relational care through local community centers and organizations. These local Portland organizations provide specialized restorative tools and resources for BIPOC:

 

Inclusive Therapists

Inclusive Therapists

Inclusive Therapists is a therapist directory search that centers the needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community as well as amplifies the voices and expressions of Neurodivergent and Disabled communities. They’re based in Portland but provide directories for practitioners in cities all across the United States and Canada.

Seeking counseling is a vulnerable process and those with marginalized identities experience additional challenges including neglect, prejudice, silencing, micro-aggressions, and language or financial barriers. Inclusivetherapists.com offers lists of providers that offer culturally affirming & responsive therapy practices.

In addition to the services on their website, they also empower a BI&POC Therapy Fund that provides free, quality therapy services and healing circles for Black, Indigenous and Communities of Color, prioritizing people with intersecting marginalized identities.

 

Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc. (NARA)

Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc.The Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc. (NARA) is a Native owned and operated non-profit organization that runs a residential family treatment center, an outpatient treatment center, a child and family services center, a primary health care clinic, several adult mental health locations, a wellness center, and offers transitional housing for Native women and children in the Portland Metro area.

The mission of NARA NW is to provide education, physical and mental health services, and substance abuse treatment that is culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives and anyone in need. Traditional culture and spirituality are an integral part of NARA NW’s services as they seek to honor and support emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health. Each of their locations offers work based on the Medicine Wheel, integrating Health & Wellness, Mental Health, Sobriety, and Culture. Referrals and support are provided as needed.

To check out upcoming events and resources, check out their regularly updated Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/naranw/.

 

Black Excellence PDX

PDX Black Excellence

PDX Black Excellence is a community organization cultural movement to connect and support Portland’s black residents and advocates. Through select services and curated events, they create unique experiences in Portland that foster social and professional networking, promote local black businesses, and provide links to community resources.

Staying involved in the local community and building relationships with individuals that have a shared experience or background can help you feel supported and empowered. Relational resources and community events are a great way to practice mental health self-care and build your support network.

Check out their list of suggested physical and mental health providers, community partners, and events calendar. They’re also active on Instagram @pdxblackexcellence where they post upcoming events and workshops as well as job postings and casting calls.

 

Conexiones: Western Psychological and Counseling Services

Western Conexiones

Western Conexiones is a team of bilingual (Spanish-English) mental health providers who offer multicultural counseling and trauma healing services for the Latinx community in the Portland, Oregon area.

They offer outpatient counseling services that address an array of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD. The program specializes in helping people overcome the impact of personal, collective and inter-generational traumas and difficult life events considering cultural context, systemic influences, and dynamics of power in the understanding of current struggles and the process of healing.

 

Self Enhancement, Inc. nonprofit organization logo.

Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI)

Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) was established in 1981, by Tony Hopson, Sr., a lifelong North Portland resident and community leader and has remained a pillar in the North Portland community as it continues to expand its programs to provide youth and families with a continuum of services.

Today, SEI is a comprehensive, one-stop resource for youth and families, primarily African Americans and others living in poverty or seeking culturally responsive services. It is also one of the city’s leading multi-service organizations, providing thousands of youth, families, and adults with a wide array of education and social services on an annual basis. SEI’s strength is in its ability to meet the complex needs of the children and families it serves, including helping people to overcome cultural, educational and economic barriers.

With a robust list of services and local community partners, they’ve dedicated a page of their website to local health and wellness services including mental health providers, immigration support, renter resources, and food resources.

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