"Healing justice is active intervention in which we transform the lived experience of Blackness in our world." - Prentis Hemphill
Created by Cara Page and the Kindred Healing Justice Collective, “Healing Justice...identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma and violence, and to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds.”
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Utilizing the Healing Justice framework, BEAM has formed a programmatic approach to all of our initiatives and projects which we have named "Social Justice Informed Mental Health Literacy" (SJM).
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We define Social justice Informed mental health literacy as: “Mental health education framed in the social-historical context of inequality that aids in the skills building, healing and liberation of communities.”
In addition to the definition, BEAM has created principles for SJM, built upon the pioneering work of multicultural and Black feminists and womanists. These principles state that in relation to Black communities an SJM approach must:
· Validate and give voice to the legacy of harm in Black communities.
· Affirm and acknowledge the historic and present-day resilience, defiance, coping skills and strategies in Black communities.
· Coach community members on how to offer first-responder support to mental health challenges and crises.
· Cultivate skills that promote agency in engaging mental health professionals and basic knowledge of mental health interventions/treatments and systems.
· Facilitate consciousness-raising and direct action to address social inequities and conditions that impact Black mental health––such as transphobia, racism, ableism, misogynoir, HIV/AIDS, and homophobia.
· Advocate and organize for accessible, innovative models of mental healthcare.
· Equip community members with knowledge and tools that support healthy mental health coping skills and healing.