PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Recent protests and racial-related traumas have mental health professionals working overtime. A local therapist is helping residents get the help they need for free.
“As a black man living in America, we’re angry,” North Philadelphia resident Steven Russell said.
Russell is not alone in that anger. Philadelphia was one of hundreds of cities across the world participating in Black Lives Matter protests.
“It’ll be a lot of willing people that’s ready to talk. We’ve been ready to talk, but who’s listening? Who’s listening?” Russell said.
Saleemah McNeil, a therapist at Oshun Family Center, says she’s willing to listen.
“Our history didn’t start when we got here. We had wealth and we were kings and queens well before we came to America unwillingly,” McNeil said.
Oshun Family Center has two locations in Pennsylvania. They’ve teamed up with Philly Psychology to provide eight free 50- to 60-minute therapy sessions for black residents dealing with racial trauma.
“Protests, racial issues, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. We are seeing their last moments live, sometimes on TV, on Instagram and on Facebook, and this has the emotional capacity to deteriorate anybody who has experienced those things,” McNeil said.
That’s why therapists are coming together to offer free counseling to help in the healing process. So far, the community has donated more than $60,000 to aid in that process.
“What I’ve seen, in my experience of working with the black community, is the commitment to healing to everybody who comes through my door,” McNeil said.
If you are interested in signing up for the free racial trauma therapy email Info@oshunfamilycenter.org.
To donate, click here.