Black Trauma analyzes the past and paves a brighter future



This Black History Month, a non-profit organization named Essence Of Mind took the time to dig deeper into how the black community got to where it is today. On February 18th, Essence of Mind held it’s very first ‘Black Trauma’ panel discussion where many issues at the forefront of the black and diverse communities were discussed.

Simone Walsh is the founder of Essence of Mind, a non-profit organization that dedicates its time towards developing research and providing support regarding mental illness. She created the organization which sparked the platform for events like Black Trauma due to her own experiences with mental health.

“I basically founded the charity from my experience of going to a mental illness and coming through it,” said Walsh on how Essence of Mind came to life. She realized it was hard to receive the help she needed and that it wasn’t as accessible as she expected. “I was on waiting lists for a really long time to get the help that I needed.”

This time around she decided to take a new perspective on mental illness within the black community. She took Black History Month as the perfect opportunity to analyze the mental effects created from outcomes in the black community.

The event consisting of various panelists and lots of room for discussion was the ideal platform to speak on the mental outcomes based on the traumatizing realities many individuals in the black community deal with in their daily lives.

With a panel consisting of social workers, psychologists and individuals with mental illness experiences, the significance of Black Trauma was to aid in providing answers and relief to a community seeking hope.

Walsh said the theme selection of Black Trauma is very important in reflecting the current struggles of the black community, and how they can overcome them. “We decided on Black Trauma, because of what’s been happening in the media, where we’re coming from as a group, and as a collective of people, just to help people to heal and move forward.”

“The theme was to focus on where we’re coming from and the relevance to our lives, from our past, what we’ve encountered as black individuals, police brutality, discrimination, and it’s left the community somewhat paralyzed, a lot of them feel helpless and we wanted to speak to them,” added Walsh.

Some of the panelists at the event were able to make the situations feel relatable from different aspects, including three panelists that were simply speaking on their personal experiences with mental illness. “They shared their story, [and] personal experience with trauma, from workplace bullying, racism, and abuse,” said Walsh, adding that their stories made it easier for the audience to connect with the panelists.

The panel then added another dimension where a panel of three medical experts spoke on those traumas that were shared by those speaking on their experiences. And the discussion left no one out, as Walsh added, “we had a wide variety that covered from young adults to the elderly.”

Although the Black Trauma event is in its first year, Walsh assures that it will be returning next year, and she hopes for it to become an annual event in celebration of Black History Month.

Essence of Mind does have other events coming up, including one in the spring. “For the month of May, which is mental awareness month we are doing an event called ‘Escape the Darkness and Into the Light.’” The upcoming event aims at providing the tools to deal with mental illness to anyone that has been affected and also features keynote speakers and entertainment.

On the mission of Essence of Mind and all of their events, Walsh summed it up as, “We support families and individuals by leading them, connecting them with partners, [and] getting them the help that they need sooner with battling a mental illness.”

For more information on Essence of Mind, their upcoming events and ways to donate, you can visit


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