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Mental Health Awareness!

Taraji P. Henson set to host a new talk show about Mental Health

The original series will air on Facebook Watch and ‘shine a spotlight on the challenging mental health issues facing us today – particularly of those in the Black community’

 Taraji P. Henson  is set to host a new Facebook Watch series that will center on the importance of mental health and aims to provide support, bring awareness, and help eliminate stigmas. Henson shared a screenshot from a Deadline article announcing the show on her Instagram and shared the news in her caption. “#GODIS‼️ 🙏🏾♦️♦️” Henson wrote.

Facebook Watch green-lit the show which still has a working title but is currently called, “Peace of Mind with Taraji.” The talk show will be co-hosted by her best friend Tracie Jade Jenkins. Jenkins is also the Executive Director of the foundation Henson started in 2018 called The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. The organization is committed to eradicate the stigma around mental health issues in the Black community and encourage those suffering to get the help they need.

According to Deadline, the hosts will “shine a spotlight on the challenging mental health issues facing us today – particularly of those in the Black community.” Each episode will focus on a different mental health topic and will include personal interviews with celebrities, experts, and everyday people. Henson said in a statement, “I’ve long been a mental health advocate for the Black community and created the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in 2018 that has provided resources to thousands of people who are struggling.” She continued, “I’m looking forward to bringing this new talk series to Facebook Watch, where I can continue to create a conversation around an issue that is near and dear to my heart.”

Mina Lefevre, Head of Development & Programming, for Facebook Watch said in a statement, “The work Taraji has done in the mental health space is inspiring, and we’re thrilled to have her come to our platform to educate and entertain around this incredibly important topic… One of our strengths at Facebook Watch is building community and conversation around topics people care about, and we’re looking forward to taking this journey together.”

Henson founded her non-profit organization in honor of her father Boris Lawrence Henson, who suffered from manic depression (bipolar disorder) after fighting in the Vietnam War. Henson recounted to Healthline in 2018 how her father, “would often have nightmares of bombs going off years after the war was over.” She explained, “When I was 17, I remember him waking up in the middle of the night in a panic at the sound of our cat running into the window blinds.” Her father also attempted death by suicide when she was a toddler. After her dad married her stepmother, he was diagnosed and things started to change. Henson explained, “Once he knew better, he was able to get the help he needed to get relief and balance.” Her father passed away in 2006.

Henson has been transparent about her struggles with depression, trauma, and anxiety. She told Healthline, “My son’s father was murdered when he was 9 years old, and my father passed away two years later. Those deaths were traumatic for both of us. We needed help, but [there was] nowhere to turn.” She was particularly frustrated after not being able to find an African American therapist for her and her son. In 2019 she told SELF, “I noticed the mood swings, like one day I’d be up and the next day I’d be down, feeling like I don’t want to go out in public. Almost agoraphobic, like, ‘Ugh, too much to deal with.” She continued, “There were days when my brain wouldn’t stop racing, which I would think of the most worst scenarios in the world, which would heighten my anxiety, and people were like, ‘You just need to meditate and yoga and things like that,’ and I would do that but by brain would still race.”

Along with practicing yoga and meditation, Henson sought out professional help and started regularly seeing a therapist. “For me, there was no shame when I started to recognize it,” she said. “It was like that I have to get some help because I’m the life of the party and when I go dark I go dark. I don’t want to leave the house and my friends started to notice me pulling back.” Henson said she was “drowning” and it was until she announced it publicly and “spoke her truth” that she “started to float back.”

Facebook Watch has not released a premiere date for “Peace of Mind With Tahari.”

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