Weathering: Black Women and Mental Health

It’s International Women’s Month, a time to celebrate the many facets of being a phenomenal woman. Black women embody the “strong Black woman” archetype who overcomes all things. Nevertheless, just because she can doesn’t automatically mean she is. She perseveres, regardless of the circumstances. But at what cost? Outcomes can range from jubilation to devastation, stirring up unnecessary pressures on Black mental health. 

Frankly, it’s no secret that Black women are physically and mentally exhausted. But how do they treat themselves when it’s time to acknowledge their wins? How does society’s perception of Black women affect their actions, and how do they care for themselves? 

Black women in society

Black women proudly wear their strength as a symbol of determination and tenacity. They tend to carry a lot of weight while wearing many hats. Work, family, kids, and life—and mysnoir and other forms of oppression—are a handful to juggle. Because of their busy lives and the societal pressures of being a Black woman in a system not built for them, they find themselves weary. Sometimes, they may feel as though they’re slowly withering away.

Mental health in the Black community within Canada is finally a discussion at the forefront. More so now than ever before. Black Canadians experience a number of health issues, including mental health. The additional burdens of social inequality and historical trauma are plenty to bear. And not being able to access the care needed to conquer these traumas can be detrimental to one’s health. In the 2023 study, Black Health in Canada: Protocol for a Scoping Review report by the National Library of Medicine, the following is noted:

*“Canadians experience notable social and economic difficulties that have deleterious consequences on their mental health. This includes disparities in access to mental health services among Black Canadians, which may be attributed to having few Black mental health service providers in the health care system. Indeed, Black Canadians have indicated their interest in accessing mental health care services with Black service providers.” 

Outlets for Black women to address their mental health are becoming prominently available. If you’re in need of an outlet, we’re always here to help you with your mental health needs at Ancestral Memory Therapy. We will always continue to create a safe space for Black women to seek the assistance and support they seek.  

Celebrating Black women

Black women don’t usually take the time to honour themselves. They push to the brink, living the “strong Black woman” trope, bending backwards for everyone around them daily. In the midst of everything, they forget themselves. We cannot emphasize enough the truth: we must take time to celebrate ourselves. Here are a few ways to stop: give yourself your flowers and bask in your accomplishments as they occur.

  1. Stop. Do not hesitate to praise yourself. If not you, then who? It could be to toast the brand-new position you’ve been working so hard to acquire or because the blog you had in mind for months has finally come to fruition. Whatever it is, you did it! Stop to take in the achievement.
  2. Give yourself your well-deserved flowers. What do you have in store for yourself? How about a dinner? A spa day? A night of silence away from everyone, curled up with your favourite book under your covers? Or a bouquet of your favourite flowers. There’s no wrong way, as long as you are simply taking time to celebrate yourself.  
  3. Bask in your accomplishments. Celebrations can be big or small, or whatever you want them to be. Yes, your friends and family are proud of you, but how do you feel about the accomplishment you set out to achieve? Relish in your moment. 

A Black woman’s role in society will always come with a caveat. Unfortunately, the outcome of said limitation can directly affect your mental health. For International Women’s Month and beyond, let’s be mindful and put into practice the importance of self-preservation. Initiate self-care, embrace self-appreciation and practice self-love—because you deserve it.

*Olanlesi-Aliu, Dr. Adedoyin, et al. “Black Health in Canada: Protocol for a Scoping Review – PMC.” PubMed Central (PMC), JMIR Publications, 25 May 2023,

Begin Your Healing Journey Today

Moved by what you’ve read? Ready to turn insights into action? Begin your healing journey today with Ancestral Memory Therapy. Connect with our compassionate therapists who specialize in trauma, PTSD, and intergenerational trauma. We’re here to support and guide you towards a more empowered future.

Don’t let your past define you. Take that first brave step, reach out, and discover the profound healing that’s within your reach.