Rolling Out

B.E.A.M. founder Yolo Akili shares how Black people can protect mental health

Yolo Akili is the founder of The Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective
B.E.A.M. founder Yolo Akili shares how Black people can protect mental health
Yolo Akili

The Black Emotional & Mental Health Collective is a national training, movement-building and grant-making institution that is dedicated to the healing, wellness, and improved quality of life in Black and marginalized communities. 

Yolo Akili, the founder of B.E.A.M, spoke with rolling out about his organization and tips for Black people looking to protect their mental health.

What is your organization centered around?

We are a national organization dedicated to Black wellness, liberation, and healing. We offer training, education, and healing circles. We also give money and resources to folks who are in need or try to support them and also other people’s mental health. We try to promote conversations about healing and wellness, so we have an affirmation wall and we invite everybody to come in and have a conversation with us about how they’re doing, how are they healing, and what wellness looks like for them.

Being in spaces like this helps us normalize the conversation more every day, and it helps people become comfortable with being able to express what their needs are and what they’re going through so we can all be well connected.

What are three tips you can give to Black people that want to protect their mental health?

The first thing is honoring that everybody has mental health and is going through a wellness journey. Your journey doesn’t mean you have to be perfect or fully healed, because that doesn’t exist. You’re trying to learn things about how to manage stress, and how to manage yourself, and that takes time. The second thing is to find the tools that work for you. It could be prayer, therapy, meditation, yoga, and hiking. Find the things that other people regulate in that spirit. Three, find your folks who will support that for you. Whether it’s your church, network, or your friends, find the folks who support your wellness to do the things that make you feel well.

Where can people find you?

You can find us on our website and you can find us on Twitter and Instagram @_beamorg.

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