Laura Harrier has addressed the historic notion that Black people go to church rather than therapy to “pray the pain away.”
The American actor and model has spoken candidly about setting time aside to care for herself, and learning to use the “tools” she gained from therapy to keep her mental health in check.
Harrier, who is set to star in Netflix’s animated Kid Cudi project, Entergalactic, told Cosmopolitan that she was a “big advocate for therapy and for mental health care, especially in the Black community”.
She 32-year-old said that professional help had benefitted her “in significant ways, especially with dealing with [her] anxiety and panic attacks.”
Harrier spoke at length regarding the “long history of ignoring mental health problems” within the Black community, who she said were inclined to say “‘Oh, just suck it up’” or “‘I’m a strong Black woman, that doesn’t happen to me’”.
Asked if she was noticing a shift in the Black community regarding mental health, Harrier said: “All of these [are] tropes that we’ve been taught over generations, when actually, I think given generational trauma, of course there are a lot of mental health issues within the Black community.
The Spider-Man: Homecoming went on to list a several acts of self-care in her own toolkit, which included meditating, deep-breathing and working out.
She also identified “watching The Bachelor and drinking wine with my girls” as a means of unravelling strain on her mental health.
“Sometimes that’s the self-care that you need,” she said.