Free therapy is now available to Black residents in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland after Saleemah McNeil raised $81,000. McNeil is the founder of Oshun Family Center and is using her platform to help people talk care of their mental health.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and Black lives being lost in the hands of the police, the community is in need of racial trauma counseling. McNeil is also a psychotherapist who focuses on the intersection of racism and maternal health.
“Seeing Black people in my community impacted by the pandemic and the racial epidemic, I knew I wanted to support their mental health through all the recent devastation,” McNeil said to PhillyMag.
With the help of fundraising with Valerie Braunstein of Philly Psychology, McNeil is able to provide series of eight, 60-minute complimentary sessions to clients. McNeil also onboarded culturally-competent therapists — including Philly clinicians Jabina Coleman and Shanna Williams.
After participants have finished their eight free sessions, McNeil says her team will offer them therapy on a sliding scale or at a reduced rate. She hopes to raise $100,000 so that Oshun can continue offering these free services and “remain a fully-functioning, economically-sustainable therapy center in a post-COVID era.”
McNeil encourages community members, especially white people, “to remember that Black lives have and will always matter, and continue supporting Black folks after the protests end.” Click here to donate to the fundraiser.