Mental health is something that narrowly affects the Black community, and with nearly one third of people not actively seeking treatment, there’s definitely time for something to change.
Two-decade-old hip-hop veteran, Shanti Das, is working to change that with her new campaign, Silence The Shame. After struggling with her personal battle with depression and anxiety, she’s working to tackle to stigmas around discussing mental health in the Black community.
The music executive, told ESSENCE how “depression… whether its hereditary, or whether it comes from a traumatic experience, you never know when it’s going to hit you and it could arise at any given time.”
The two-decade-old music industry vet, who has worked with artists like Outkast, Toni Braxton and Stevie Wonder, has worked at well-known labels like Columbia Records, LaFace Records and Universal Motown.
Some of the celebrities that have supported her message include Chloe x Halle, Nick Cannon, Da Brat and Usher.
“I think God allowed me to work in entertainment and do great things [and] I think it’s very important for me to use my platform,” she told ESSENCE.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Blacks are 20 percent more likely to report having serious psychological distress than non-Hispanic whites.
One of those reasons may be due to the relief that religion provides many Blacks. In a study conducted by The American Psychiatry Association, 85 percent of Blacks said that their most common way to handle stress is through prayer.
Through the campaign, which Das launched last month, she plans to spread awareness to the severity of the issue through public service announcements, panel discussions and college tours.
“It’s important for me to open the dialogue because so many people are suffering in silence… I’m just hoping that we’re able to help a lot of people,” Das told ESSENCE.