Imadé (ee-MAH-day) is a writer and mental health advocate who founded Depressed While Black®. She is a suicide attempt survivor who lives with clinical depression and borderline personality disorder. Imadé first developed Depressed While Black as her 2015 Columbia University Non-Fiction Creative Writing MFA thesis. Depressed While Black has grown into an online community, an in-progress book, and a 501(c)3 nonprofit that donates Black-affirming personal care items to psychiatric patients and connects people to Black therapists.


    Vision Statement:

    Depressed While Black envisions a world where people of African descent heal from severe depression through Black-affirming mental health support and advocacy.

  • Help Me Find A Therapist

    Help Me Find A Therapist will relaunch early 2022!

    Donate to help us launch REBUILD, a Help Me Find A Therapist program that will connect over 5,000 formerly incarcerated and criminalized people of color to therapists of color: bit.ly/REBUILD2021


    The Help Me Find A Therapist program started in the summer of 2020 to meet an urgent need to support Black people accessing the mental health system for the first time due to the dual traumas of the pandemic and police brutality. This program, initially started by Depressed While Black, included a Google Form where people submit their criteria for a Black therapist. Users enter confidential information such as insurance, the type of therapy they are looking for, and the mental health condition they want the therapist to address. A Help Me Find A Therapist staff emails up to three Black therapist options based on a person's criteria.


    The Help Me Find A Therapist program helped over 200 people find Black therapist options by manually searching for Black mental health professionals.


    In Spring 2021, abolitionist and educator Mariame Kaba connected with the Help Me Find A Therapist program to discuss the possibility of a pilot project connecting formerly incarcerated individuals with therapists of color.


    In 2022, the Help Me Find A Therapist service will launch REBUILD, a one-year pilot project focused on formerly incarcerated individuals looking for a therapist of color. At least four part-time paid staff (with priority consideration given to formerly incarcerated people and people who have lived experiences with mental health challenges) will assist in matching formerly incarcerated (and justice-involved) individuals with therapists of color. This assistance includes finding and vetting therapists, setting up appointments, and possibly facilitating the payment process. In addition, therapy costs for at least 20 individuals will be covered by the Help Me Find a Therapist program. With more funds raised, REBUILD can subsidize more people’s therapy costs.





    For more information, email:



    Disclaimer: As with any service, you are encouraged to research and consult with any providers before working with them to ensure a good fit. This program is not intended as a tool for verifying the credentials, qualifications, or abilities of any clinician listed.


    We use your monetary donations to purchase Black-affirming personal care items for psychiatric patients.

    Donate to make a difference.

    47"A patient was here and he had nothing. When it came time to discharge him we were able to give him socks, underwear, and a T-shirt from your donations. He said it had been a while since he was able to get a new pair of underwear. Your donation made it possible for us to help a patient in need."


    -Staff Member at Moses Cone Alamance County Behavioral Health Hospital



    When I was hospitalized, I had nothing but the clothes I came in with. I was literally wearing my trauma.


    When I first asked a staff member what patients wanted for their April drop off, I was surprised that the first request they had was Chapstick. We are in the middle of a global crisis, but small things like giving Chapstick can help people care for their bodies and live with dignity.


    As a nonprofit, Depressed While Black receives a wish list from psychiatric patients and staff and then donates these items each month. Depressed While Black is currently providing this service for Moses Cone Alamance Regional Behavioral Health Hospital in Burlington, NC and Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital in Greensboro, NC.


    Depressed While Black also provides Black beauty supply kits for psychiatric patients where each individual kit includes all-natural travel-size shampoo, conditioner, hair oil, and shea body butter. The kit also includes chapstick, a satin bonnet, a wave cap, a wide-tooth comb, and a handle-less brush. These items are sourced from Black-owned businesses.


    As a trial run, Black beauty supply kits were mailed to Columbia University Psychiatry, UNC Psychiatry's Adolescent Unit, and Howard University Psychiatry.


    Would you like to send a Wish List or are you a business owner wanting to donate your items or offer them at a reduced price? Contact DepressedWhileBlack@gmail.com


    100% of donations are used for the Wish List program. Donate at depressedwhileblack.kindful.com.


    This is what Depressed While Black gave in

    October 2021:


    Cone Health Behavioral Health Greensboro

    No items requested


    Howard University Psychiatry
    (Washington D.C.)

    30 Discharge Boxes that include:

    20 Shampoo (travel-size)
    20 Conditioner (travel-size)
    20 Hair oils (travel-size)
    20 Shea Butter Lip Balm
    20 Shea Body Butter
    20 Satin bonnets
    20 Wave caps
    20 Wide-tooth combs
    20 Brushes
    20 Toothpaste
    20 Toothbrushes
    20 Body Wash
    20 Soap Bars
    20 Deodorant
    20 Moisturizers
    Floss (in most boxes)

    UNC Pediatric Psychiatry
    (Chapel Hill, NC)

    20 Black Beauty Supply Kits that include:

    20 Shampoo (travel-size)
    20 Conditioner (travel-size)
    20 Hair oils (travel-size)
    20 Shea Butter Lip Balm
    20 Shea Body Butter
    20 Satin bonnets
    20 Wave caps
    20 Wide-tooth combs
    20 Brushes

    Alamance Regional Behavioral Health

    (Burlington, NC)

    109 Boxers

    47 Flip flops/Slippers

    36 2022 Planners

    10 Cantu hair products


  • #BuildABlackVision

    We partnered with BEAM for #BIPOCMentalHealthMonth 2020 to #BuildABlackVision for mental health. We highlighted the experiences of Black people in psychiatric jails and facilitated dialogue to build a collective vision that transforms Black mental health in our country.


    We want to defund the police and punitive psychiatric jails/hospitals in order to fully fund Black community mental health centers that prioritize peer-support, agency, and self-determination.


    Read our articles on The Mighty:

    What It Means to #BuildABlackVision for Mental Health


    My Experience in Two Different Psychiatric Hospitals


    How Do You 'Get Better' in a Psychiatric Hospital Where No One Understands You?

  • BLOG

    Find mental health stories from an African-American lens and discover new mental health resources

  • BOOK

    My in-progress book, Depressed While Black, explores race, religion, and romance all while popping Prozac and navigating therapy


    De-stigmitize depression with these conversation starters. Masks are now available!


    Read more about the Depressed While Black experience

    The Barriers to Finding Mental Healthcare While Black

    What You’re Getting Wrong About Employee Burnout

    I Can Never Be the Person I Was Before Having Treatment-Resistant Depression. And I Don’t Want to Be. (sponsored)

    How Workplaces Can Support Black Mental Health

    "I Have Treatment-Resistant Depression": What It's Like to Live With the Challenging Mental Illness

    DAWN Saved My Life

    What keeps some black women from seeking mental health care — and how therapists are working to change that

    Three Reasons Why It Can Be Harder for Black Women To Get Mental Health Treatment

    When medication is essential to mental health: CBD Stigma

    The Relatable Depression of 'Never Say Never'

    “Depressed While Black” founder Imade Nibokun is fearlessly changing the conversation around the future of Black mental health

    'I Thought Depression Was a White People Disease': a Conversation with Depressed While Black

    40 Women to Watch: The 2018 Edition

    12 Wonder Women Who Inspire Us to Battle Mental Health Stigma

    Kid Cudi and Depression


    Sammus' hip-hop song about depression and suicidal thoughts that made me cry

    Breaking The Stigma: Women Of Color Speaking Up For Minority Mental Health

    This Is What It's Like To Be "Depressed While Black"


    Bring Depressed While Black Founder Imadé to your next event

    72 Hours Later: Black in Mental Health Facilities w/ @depressedwhileblack

    SPSM Chat

    Fighting While Healing: Dismantling Systemic Racism to Improve Black Mental Health

    A Conversation With BEAM Founder Yolo Akili

    The Black People Who Were Left Behind: On Psychiatric Jails & Mental Illness

    Bridging The Mental Health Treatment Gap: Ways To Reduce Stigma In The Workplace

    COM Umoja Community and Psychological Services host Imadé Nibokun of Depressed While Black

    The Mental Health Needs of Students of Color

    JED Foundation's Storyteller Program

    Jesus Told Me To Get On Antidepressants

    Drug Policy Alliance Conference

    Impact of Coercion Panel

    Wright Institute

    Living Depressed While Black

    Furman University

    Blackness is not a Mental Health Problem

    No More Martrys ResistRestRepeat Panel

    Revolutionary Self-Care

    Minority Mental Health Summit

    When A Woman Speaks Lunch Panel

    Black Women's Life Balance & Wellness Conference at Spelman University

    Spirituality and Mental Health

    Blacktivism Conference at Emory Univeristy

    Self-Care is the Movement


    Listen to Imadé talk about what it means to be Depressed While Black

    Depressed While Black: Imade

    A COMPLETE MISUNDERSTANDING: Depression, Suicide, and Wellness Solutions


    Watch and spread mental health awareness

    Project UROK

    Social Justice & Mental Health

    BET: What's At Stake

    Diagnosis Story


    Stay up to date on the latest Depressed While Black news


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