An Unfiltered Conversation With Aprylete

Did you know that July was National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five Americans is affected by mental health conditions, and the stigma of mental illness and the shame associated with getting help continue.

NAMI says that background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult, leading to the creation of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month established in 2008 to change things. In efforts to provide you guys with more insight on the subject, we reached out to Mental Health Activist and Journalist Aprylete Russell to do a guest blog post. 

Read it below: 


Aprylete Russell

Mental Health Activist - Journalist - On Air Talent


Mental illness is nothing to be taken lightly, especially in the African-American community where it’s so often looked over. It is my job as an advocate for mental health, to not only make a difference in my life but also the many who cannot advocate for themselves. We need to create a culture in which people in the black community no longer feel afraid to tell someone how they are feeling, and that they need help. Whether you suffer from mental health issues or not, it’s important to watch out for signs and symptoms of common diseases.

Depression is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. It’s a serious mental health condition that requires understanding and medical care. Left untreated, depression can be devastating for the people who have it and for their families.

According to the US HHS Office of Minority Health, adult African Americans are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than are adult whites. Fortunately, with early detection, diagnosis and a treatment plan consisting of medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle choices, many people do get better.

Common symptoms of depression include: (Provided by NAMI)

• Changes in sleep

• Changes in appetite

• Lack of concentration

• Loss of energy

• Lack of interest

• Low self esteem

• Hopelessness

• Changes in movement

• Physical aches and pains

Here are 3 Minority Mental Health Blogs I enjoy:

Therapy for Black Girls - Founded by licensed psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, based in Atlanta, GA. The site serves as an online safe haven for Black girls and women to receive help regarding mental health.

 Healing Melanins - Healing Melanins is bringing more awareness to the Black community about mental health. Healing Melanins organize giveaways, provide internships and even has a shop where you can buy t-shirts, phone cases, and coffee mugs that promote mental health awareness

Depressed While Black – Depressed While Black , founded by Imade Nibokun is a blog that helps those in the African-American community with mental health issues, particularly depression. This blog is shattering the stigma behind seeking help for your depression with events, posts, books and videos.

As part of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, Aprylete Russell will host a community wellness event on Saturday, July 28th with the aim to remove the stigma surrounding mental health within the African American community. Did we mention the event is FREE? We encourage you to bring your friends and family out for this well needed #UnfilteredConversation. Grab your tickets at

If you aren't able to attend the event, but would like to seek treatment for your mental health please use the resources listed below: 

Suicide Hotline

Phone: (800) 273-TALK (8255)

Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri

St. Louis, MO

(314) 773-1399

NAMI St. Louis

1810 Craig Rd Suite 124, St. Louis, MO 63146

Phone: (314) 962-4670