Detroit woman launches nationwide Black Therapist Network

The toll of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic on top of life's other stresses can really have an impact on a person's mental health. And for some, it can be hard finding a therapist to relate to and trust.

That all may soon change as one group prepares to launch a new network to bridge that gap.

“It’s finding someone they’re comfortable with, finding someone they feel like they can open up to, that’s a safe space," said Aisha Cunningham, who's a licensed therapist. 

She was born and raised in Detroit and has a passion for her community, especially when it comes to mental health awareness. She noticed and thought she could be doing more. 

“I knew there were other platforms around for people to search for Black therapists or just therapists in general, but it wasn’t really a space where I thought the Black therapists could actually come together and network with one another, learn from one another," she said.

So, The Black Therapist Network was born and is set to launch in January. Cunningham is working with Black therapists across the country to build their clientele, access funding opportunities and more.

“We are narrowing down what type of insurance do they take, will they do pro bono work? Clients will be able to reach out to those therapists as well to narrow down and make their search less stressful."

Cunningham says those looking for a Black mental health professional would then be able to narrow their search, starting with male or female.

“Then if they say, I really am looking for somebody doing couples therapy or someone who focuses on childhood trauma, they’ll be able to narrow down their search some more.”

Cunningham says she hopes with the stresses of the last year more people will consider reaching out.

"Therapy is an outlet," she said. “Honestly therapy isn’t just for, if you experienced something traumatic. It isn't for if you are just struggling with a particular thing. I believe in therapists having therapists; I have an amazing one. And sometimes it's just a space to talk about your day and the good things that are happening.”

Right now the virtual doors are open for Black therapists to sign up.

And if you have something you're wanting to talk about, don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out to someone, even if that someone isn’t a therapist.

“Just hang in there, hang in there, and definitely utilize the resources around you."