Today we stand with the Siwe Project in the midst of Minority Mental Health month and proudly proclaim today #NOShameDay. The Siwe Project envisions a world in which people of African descent can openly share their experiences with mental health challenges and feel supported in seeking treatment without shame.

#NoShameDay by the Siwe Project

We’ve written many times before about the extra challenges Black moms find in both admitting and seeking treatment for maternal mental illnesses. Jasmine Banks, our Climb Out Manager, is currently writing a series for Minority Mental Health Month, focusing on the issues moms of color face when they battle postpartum mood and anxiety disorders.

Her first piece addresses the racial and ethnic disparities of identifying and treating postpartum depression. She then wrote about stigma and the strong Black woman. Tomorrow she’ll share more about the history of mistrust and why Black people seek treatment at a lower rate than their white counterparts.

We encourage our mothers of color to join in the discussion on Twitter (currently trending), Facebook, Instagram and where ever else you use social media with the hashtag #NOShameDay. You can also participate in a Twitter Chat tonight.

You don’t have to feel shame for experiencing a postpartum mood and anxiety disorder. Postpartum depression happens to 1 in 7 women, and that’s just the reported cases. We also now know that postpartum anxiety happens more frequently than PPD.

You’re simply not alone.

We thought we’d share this beautiful spoken word poem by Bassey Ikpi shared by Siwe Project which speaks volumes about mental illness.

“This is about humility and admitting that you need help, and sleep, and hugs, and permission to cry despite the strength you are often accused of.”

You are not alone.