Home LivingHealth Let’s honour the mental health care of Black communities this Black History Month

Let’s honour the mental health care of Black communities this Black History Month

by Grace Sundram

Did you know that only one out of three Black adults in the U.S. who is in need of mental health care will receive it. That’s just one example of the lack of access when it comes to mental health resources for Black communities and marginalized folks—and it’s one of many reasons why Shine, an app that is an inclusive self-care toolkit to help you deal with the day-to-day highs and lows was created.

For those who aren’t aware of the Shine app, it consists of meditations and 90% of it is voiced by Black people. That’s an intentional choice to help make caring for your mental health a more representative and more accessible experience.


Marah Lidey, a Black woman, and Naomi Hirabayashi, a half-Japanese woman, both didn’t see themselves represented in the world of self-care and wellness. Hence why they are proud to be the change they wanted to see in the world of mental health.

Here are some quick Q&A’s with the Black Women of Shine HQ.

Marah Lidey: Co-founder and co-CEO of Shine

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How do you prioritize your emotional/mental health?

The biggest shift for me has come in realizing that my mental and emotional health isn’t something that can be “managed” separately from the other parts of my life.

There is no world where I go to work, and then I see my partner or friends, and then I prioritize my mental health. Nah. I have to prioritize my mental health every day through those interactions.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good morning self-care routine—gratitude, meditation, a little Oprah SuperSoul Sunday. But the best gift I can give myself is finding what energizes me about each moment of my life, no matter what I’m doing.

Tiffany Walker: Audio Strategist and host of the Daily Shine

EDITEDTIFFANYHEADSHOTHow do you practice self-love?

Showing myself how much I matter to me is a great joy. You gotta celebrate your #1!

I take myself on dates whether it be to a restaurant to enjoy a nice meal or to the movies which is one of my all-time favourite solo activities. I speak kindly to myself. I’ve worked really hard to make my inner voice work with me and not against me.

My greatest indulgence is my “Tops To Toes Day” which is every Sunday. It’s the day I spend pampering myself literally from head to toe. I wash and deep condition my hair because as Black women, we know the important significance of our hair.

I’ll do some sort of skincare treatment, yoga to get physically balanced, and make a really great Sunday meal. As a southern woman, Sunday dinner was always important to my family and I keep that tradition going even though I’m a New Yorker now.

Martha Tesema: Content Strategist


What does taking up space mean to you?

To me, a big part of taking up space means actively believing in your self-worth—and advocating for yourself constantly. It’s a hard thing to do, but it can manifest in so many different ways for me.

Sometimes that means adjusting my self-talk to be more positive and reminding myself that I belong in the rooms I enter, and other times it means building a seat at the table where there historically hasn’t been room for people who look like me.

Apart from that, in celebration of the Black history — the Shine app wants to help you get to know three of the incredible voices in the Shine app a little better. Don’t forget to tune in to these fantastic individuals.

Mel Chanté


Mel is a poet, author and creator who produces content to uplift people’s thoughts and views of self.

Listen to Mel’s “Recognize Your Self-Worth” meditation

Jamila Reddy

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Jamila is a self-empowerment coach on a mission to help people create their dreams.

Listen to Jamila’s “Learn Your Needs” meditation

Jor-El Caraballo


Jor-El is an NYC-based therapist and founder of Viva Wellness who helps people find a better sense of balance and peace.

Listen to Jor-El’s “Connect with Your Ancestors” meditation

If we do not look after ourselves, we are not able to look after others.

Pictures by We Work & the respected individuals 6

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