Actress Taraji P. Henson is bringing mental health to the forefront with her new Facebook Watch series “Peace of Mind with Taraji.” In the show, the actress meets with people and helps them deal with grief after suffering losses of loved ones, to acts of violence. So far, she’s spoken with Asian Doll on the murder of her boyfriend, rapper King Von, as well as Pop Smoke’s brother, Obasi Jackson. She also sits down with professional psychologists and tries to help guests deal with the pain.
Having endured a similar trauma herself, she shared her personal experience on a recent episode, detailing how the murder of her son’s father affected her. She stated, “My son’s father was suddenly taken, murdered when he was nine. And I didn’t know how to tell him that. I told him he died in an accident. Later on in life, he found out and he came back to me and was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me my daddy was murdered?’ And so then, we had to get therapy.
“I didn’t have the balls. I didn’t. It wouldn’t come out. I hid it. ‘Cause I read the actual… it was in the paper. And I didn’t know how to tell him. He was stabbed to death; it was the worst way you could die. And I just didn’t have the words. I didn’t know how to tell a nine-year-old… that there was so much hate in the world that someone would do that. I tried to show him the happy side of life. I grew up in the hood and I wanted to keep that from him. I just didn’t have the words, and we suffered later for it.”
After receiving therapy over the years behind the traumatic death, Taraji now admits that she would have handled things differently today. She added, “I have so much guilt because I wish I would have known what I know now because I would’ve handled things differently. Maybe we wouldn’t have struggled so much. That’s why I go so hard for mental health because we don’t know and we think when our kids are acting out, we go ‘Oh they’re just being a teenager,’ but most times there’s really something wrong, but because we don’t know, we don’t talk about it. I don’t want us to not know, to not save our children. That is the guilt I have as a parent. We all have those things as a parent where I could’ve done this better and that haunts me.”
Henson’s son, Marcell Johnson, is now 26-years-old and is doing fine. Other upcoming guests on “Peace of Mind with Taraji” will include Tamar Braxton, Mary J. Blige, and Jay Pharoh, who also discuss personal traumas like police brutality and PTSD.