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Healing the Black Community Through Free Mental Health Services

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Photo by Vernon Ray

$76,000 and counting.

It all started with $5,000. That’s how much Oshun Family Center’s founder, Saleemah McNeil asked the community to donate to her nonprofit organization, which focuses on providing mental health services for the Black community and healing racial trauma.

Within weeks, that $5,000 dollar ask grew to an amazing $76,000.

McNeil is now able to provide eight free therapy sessions for those who need the support.

“We have about 39 people right now who are receiving services or already scheduled to receive their first round of therapy services," says McNeil. "We are spread across eight different therapists in three different practices for providing the services to the Black community. I'm just so excited that the black community really showed up to help break down those barriers and those stigmas to say that we don't go to therapy."

McNeil received help from allies to help push this mission forward, including Oscar, Grammy, Tony and Golden Globe Award-winning songwriter Benj Pasek, known for his work in The Greatest Showman and Dear Evan Hansen. He matched $15,000 in donations.

“I think it's really important for our white allies to understand that in this moment, within a movement, it shouldn't slow down, we continuously need your support," says McNeil. "Because we now see today, what it looks like for us to band together and really get things done. So we deserve the support from you all on a continuous basis in understanding the impact that you have. Because when I asked for $5,000 and got $76,000, I knew that it was you who was backing me along this way to help the black community."

Watch the full story below.

To help donate for free mental health services for the Black community, click the links below.
Oshun Family Center Instagram and Website
Maternal Wellness Village Instagram