Oprah talks mental health on ‘Black Women OWN the Conversation’ on anniversary of George Floyd’s death

By | May 26, 2021

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As we’re commemorating the first anniversary of the sad and untimely death of George Floyd, the impact on our psyches has not been completely determined. The tragic murder of yet another Black man at the hands of police being broadcast repeatedly has taken its toll on the Black community, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. 

Read More: ‘Turning mourning into dancing’: Festival to remember Floyd

Oprah Winfrey has long been a proponent of mental health and is bringing the topic to the forefront across media platforms. In the latest episode of Black Women OWN the Conversation docuseries, she aims to expand the conversation around Black women’s mental health. OWN Spotlight: Black Women OWN The Conversation: Mental Health and Trauma premieres Tuesday, May 25 at 9 p.m. 

Winfrey, along with Emmy-award-winning journalist Adrienne Bankert and social impact strategist Jotaka Eaddy will lead the first episode. The women will be joined by special guests including California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, activist, scholar, and educator Dr. Dena Simmons, actress Kym Whitley and Dr. Gail Wyatt, professor of psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, who will discuss the impact of trauma and provide resources for healing. 

The Emmy-winning series Black Women OWN the Conversation, which started in 2019, is part of OWN Your Health; a larger initiative Winfrey began to advocate for strategies and solutions for Black women to prioritize and improve their mental and physical health. This is the first of several planned episodes this year to further discuss those issues. 

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OWN Your Health has identified three key areas that can help Black women to achieve better mental and physical health outcomes:

  • Proactive Prevention – including routine screenings, nutrition, physical activity, health education and accountability.
  • The Unspoken – including fertility, motherhood, sexual and relationship health, trauma, financial health, and treatment options.
  • Superwoman – source of pressure many Black women regularly experience – the obligation to project an image of strength and to suppress emotions, to resist accepting help or admitting vulnerability and prioritizing caregiving to others and community to the detriment of self.
Panelist Kym Whitley

As per theGrio, Winfrey also joined forces with Prince Harry on an Apple+ TV series The Me You Can’t See which premiered May 21.

Read More: Five ways George Floyd really changed the world

Guest stars on the show will include pop singer Lady Gaga, actress Glenn Close, celebrity chef Rashad Armstead, Olympic boxer Virginia “Ginny” Fuchs, and NBA players DeMarr DeRozan and Langston Galloway sharing their mental health challenges.

“We are born into different lives, brought up in different environments, and as a result are exposed to different experiences. But our shared experience is that we are all human,” Harry said in a statement. “The majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss, or grief, which feels—and is—very personal. Yet the last year has shown us that we are all in this together, and my hope is that this series will show there is power in vulnerability, connection in empathy, and strength in honesty.”

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See the trailer for OWN Your Health below:

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Health – TheGrio