Welcome to Ourselves | Black, where our mission is to empower the Black community by promoting mental health. This website is a place where you can find information regarding mental health issues from our articles and videos, join a conversation or read about others’ experiences in our forum, and use the links and referral sources to find resources for you, your family and members of your community.  It was started by a black psychiatrist, and is the first of its kind.

The people contributing our regularly updated articles and videos have a wide variety of perspectives and experiences and include black psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists, family members of loved ones with mental illness and people who have personally struggled with mental illnesses and are reclaiming their lives.   What all of our contributors have in common is their dedication to mental health promotion.

Part of promoting mental health is speaking up and speaking out about mental illness. This is a key part of this website’s mission because mental illness is, by definition, at odds with mental health.   Many outcomes can be improved, but all too often stigma, misinformation and other complicating factors prevent mental illness from being identified and addressed.

Often people and families struggling with mental illness have the additional burden of feeling alienated or not knowing where to go for professional help if they want it. This isolation can be even more common in the black community because of the high stigma around black mental illness. We hope that  Ourselves | Black will provide an online community where people can go for support and draw information from the collective wisdom of each other.  Our provider directory, which is in its beginning stages but is in the process of expanding, is a resource for those who are considering working with a mental health professional.  It will include black psychiatrists, black psychologists, black therapists and other mental health care providers with an expressed interest in working with members of the black community.  Ourselves | Black is a partner of the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health.

Dr. Sarah Vinson www.drsarahvinson.com www.designreduced.com

Dr. Sarah Y. Vinson, www.DrSarahVinson.com, the site’s founder and Chief Editor, is a triple board-certified Child & Adolescent, Adult and Forensic psychiatrist who completed her general psychiatry training at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Residency, and additional fellowship training at Emory College of Medicine. She currently holds dual faculty appointments at Morehouse School of Medicine and Emory School of Medicine. She has learned from supervisors and teachers with a variety of backgrounds including psychiatry, psychology, social work and nursing; ultimately, however, she has learned and continues to learn the most from her patients and their families.  Her experience shapes this website’s goal of drawing upon diverse perspectives including those of patients, families and a broad range of clinicians and researchers.