This campaign purpose is to raise awareness in the Black community about mental illnesses happens to everyone. It is to end the stigma towards mental illness in the Black community. We have to talk about it more and educate each other. No one is alone when it comes to mental illness.

Shoutout to Miriam Hawkins for sharing her story about why #BlackMentalHealthMatters!

"I don't even know where to begin...My own personal story is that I suffer from depression. I used to believe that depression was formed by situations only. When I came to Oklahoma State University, I was EXTREMELY depressed. I hid behind a mask and lied to make myself feel better about something I could not control. I thought if I finished my degree, I would be accepted by a certain group of people, had certain "things," I would feel better. But I did not understand the complexity of depression until this past year. I had a break down and tried to commit suicide. I spent time in a psychiatric facility and during that time, it hit me that depression is real and its a condition like any other health condition. Being an African-American woman, I was told we were not allowed to be depressed and mental health was not real, but rather a demon that needed to be prayed out. But just like any other condition, prayer is great, but there is a treatment to go along with the prayer to improve ones quality of life. Since my break down, Ihave been wanting to speak about mental health within our community because I know of so many women fighting anxiety, depression, and other mental issues that do not feel comfortable sharing their stories or even seeking help because of the negative stigma attached with mental health diseases. I am a huge advocate for equipping our community with the tools to beat mental health issues."

Shoutout to Audrey Pernell for sharing her story about why #BlackMentalHealthMatters!

"Black Mental Health Matters to me because young women should not have to grow up being told you have an attitude all of your life instead of trying to understand the root of the emotion. It matters because we too should feel comfortable when we want to come to terms with mental illness instead of feeling like a burden. It matters to me because too many of our brothers and sisters are self-medicating instead of seeking out treatment and putting ourselves in worse situations. Black Mental Health Matters to me because I am finally at a place where I can say my mental health does not define me but it allows me to empower others and still know that I AM OK."

Shoutout to our lead administrator of the organization, Aleshia Overall, MA, LPC, for sharing her story of why #BlackMentalHealthMatters!

"Black Mental Health Matters because we matter. We are not invisible or invincible. We should not suffer in silence in order to LOOK strong. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder-these labels (and others) do not define us because we are resilient people. There is nothing to be ashamed about in realizing these masks we bear become too heavy. There is nothing to be ashamed about in realizing sometimes you need someone to talk to, to learn from, or to help guide us. There is nothing to be ashamed about in admitting WE DO NOT HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER. Black mental health matters because WE MATTER."

Shoutout to Jennifer Thomas for sharing her story why #BlackMentalHealthMatters!!

"Despite what we have been through, we remain victorious. We are a resilient people and I love that we celebrate our strength. Black mental health matters to me because that we heal those scars so that we can become stronger for our community."

Shoutout to Tawny Davis for sharing her story of why #BlackMentalHealthMatters!

"Being aware of black mental health matters to me because it's so prevalent within our community. People who suffer from mental illness often have a negative stigma that is placed upon them. Everyone battles with something. I march for the people who didn't ask to wake up with mental health issues. I march for the people who live with mental health issues and the families that suffer from it. I march for taking a stand for these people no matter how society may see them. I march for the equality of all human beings no matter how different they are seen. Join me and be the change too."

Shoutout to Joelisha Goggins for sharing her story about why #BlackMentalHealthMatters!

"Black mental health matters to me because black people deserve a fair shot at having a sound mind. From babies to grown folk, everything we experience is recorded in our memory banks and affects us in some way! Some encounters we face as children, teens, young adults, or veterans have the ability to contaminate our smooth thinking process. Generation after generation we fight poverty, family dysfunction, and many more things that hinders us from living a stable comfortable life. Which forces the world to label us as depressed, clinically disabled, or even worse the lack of desire to want to be great! When the problem is, the system is set up for Blacks to fail. The goal is to keep us stressed and unaware of our health! So yes, Black health is important to me. I am a victor of Postpartum Depression and I have given birth to one amazing healthy little boy and I plan to teach him how important mental health is to him as well as myself."

Shoutout to Joseph Mathew for sharing his story about why #BlackMentalHealthMatters!

"I've personally struggled with depression throughout my life, but it was the loneliness from not having someone else to speak with, that made my struggle that much more real. As I now hold the titles of PhD student, educator, author and various other important roles. I see maintaining a good mental health state as essential to my own personal growth, but also essential for me to be at my best for the kids who I love and care for, as they are depending on me and I cannot let them down. Please don't be afraid to ask for help and don't let your struggles control or define who you are. Your life matters."