This is for Whitney Huston, Don Cornelius and the countless unnamed who struggle everyday with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. This is for those who cover up their pain and self medicate with drugs and sex…it’s high time that we address the issues of mental health and the African American community.
I became familiar with Bassey Ikpi through her work with Def Poetry Jam. A beautiful wordsmith, creative, confident and poised…who would have thought that underneath it all she was quietly dealing Bipolar Disorder.
Ikpi, who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II in 2010 fought through her illness with the help and support of family and friends and became an advocate for mental health in the African diaspora.
Then in July 2012 her life took turn when Siwe Monsanto, the daughter of a close friend, committed suicide at the age of 15. From there Bassey’s emotions transformed themselves into action and The Siwe Project was born.The Siwe (pronounced SEE-WAY) Project, based in Lanham, MD (with partner organizations being launched in London, Johannesburg and Abuja).
There is a connection between mental health and yoga…I hope those out there struggling with emotional and mental disorders will consider yoga as part of their healing process.
Find more on the Siwe Project here.
Humbled by this post. Thank you.