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    Imadé (ee-MAH-day) is a writer and mental health advocate who founded Depressed While Black® to meet a desparate need to find other Black people like herself who live with depression. 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 and a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in July 2020 that donates Black-affirming personal care items to psychiatric patients and connects people to Black-led mental health resources.

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


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

    Donate to make a difference.

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    "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 Alamance Regional Behavioral Health Hospital



    When I was hospitalized in 2018, I had nothing but the clothes I came in with. I was barefoot, and soiled my shirt. I was literally wearing my trauma. Despite this, I received no Black beauty supplies from the hospital and had to wear clothes from the Lost & Found. I made a commitment that I wouldn't let this happen to anyone else.


    At the beginning of the pandemic, when I first asked a staff member what patients wanted, I was surprised that they would often request 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. After donating to Alamance Regional Behavioral Health Hospital in Burlington, NC for over three years, Depressed While Black is currently providing this service for Duke Children's Hospital in Durham, NC. We have been told that our donated items like shoes and slippers can be the difference between leaving the hospital barefoot or leaving the hospital with dignity.


    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 Hairizon, a Black owned beauty company. On each bottle are inspirational messages recommended by former psychiatric patients. So far, we ordered over 300 Black Beauty Supply kits for 7 hospitals and one peer respite center!


    With your donations, we donated Black Beauty Supply Kits to Columbia University Psychiatry (New York, NY), UNC Psychiatry (Chapel Hill, NC), Howard University Psychiatry (Washington D.C.), Washington Heights Community Service (New York, NY), Cone Health Behavioral Health (Greensboro, NC), Central Regional Hospital (Butner, NC), Karaya Peer Respite (Massachusetts), and Duke Children's Hospital (Durham, NC).


    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: info@depressedwhileblack.org


    100% of donations are used for the Wish List program and Black Beauty Supply Kits.

    Donate at bit.ly/DonateToDWB


    This is what Depressed While Black donated in 2024:


    Duke Children's Hospital - Psychiatric ER


    408 pads

    300 panty liners

    105 bags of gummie bears

    27 Valentine's Heart candy boxes

    180 bags of chips & popcorn

    2 bags of chocolate


    15 Black Beauty Supply Kits

    25 children's books

    15 crayon boxes


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  • Heal at Home

    Depressed While Black is launching an upcoming iniatitive called Heal at Home to primarily support Black unhoused patients leaving psychiatric hospitals.


    We want to welcome psychiatric patients back into our community through connecting them to Black-affirming mental health resources that make them feel safe and loved.

  • Help Me Find A Therapist

    The Help Me Find A Therapist program was created by Depressed While Black 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 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 launched 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.


    Website: helpmefindatherapist.org

    For more information: info@helpmefindatherapist.org

    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.

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    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?

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