Other organizations go a step further and help patients set up therapy appointments. For example, the nonprofit organization Black Men Heal offers up to eight free online counseling sessions. About 70% of clients choose to pay for additional sessions, said the executive director, Tasnim Sulaiman, a privately practice psychotherapist in the Philadelphia area who founded the organization in 2018. .
It can be difficult for people of color to find a therapist with a shared cultural background. According to the Census Bureau, about 18% of people in the United States identify as Hispanic and 13% as black, but a report by the American Psychological Association found that only 5% of psychologists were Hispanic and 4% Black – 86% white. A similar disparity exists between the country’s social workers and psychiatrists.
Eric Coly, who previously worked in finance, founded Ayana Therapy in 2020, about eight years after hitting rock bottom while dealing with anxiety and depression.
Back then, he struggled to find a therapist who could understand the intersection of his different identities as a Black man and an immigrant from Senegal living elsewhere. each other in the world.
“This product is mostly about healing my former self,” he says.
Ayana, which means “mirror” in Bengali, asks users to fill out a questionnaire that captures “the many nuances of you,” says Coly, then compares you to a qualified therapist. cultural. The cost of each online session is currently $60.
Suppliers are screened through a process that includes two interviews and a reference check.
While Ayana was created for a multitude of races and cultures, as well as those who identify as LGBTQ, some sites cater to a more niche group of users such as LatinxTherapy, Therapy for Girls Black, Therapy for Black Men, Asian Mental Health Collective and National Queuers and therapists across the Color Network. Melanin and Mental Health has a list of color therapists, many of whom are based in Houston. Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective, a healthcare nonprofit that trains people to respond to mental health crises, has an online directory of many Black practitioners including therapists, yoga instructors, doulas and mediators.
Employers are also beginning to recognize the need for culturally competent providers. Indeed, Thumbtack and Critical Mass, part of the Omnicom Group, recently partnered with Therify, which uses artificial intelligence technology to connect employees with suppliers in their state. Half of Therify’s nearly 300 online therapists are people of color and 20% specialize in serving clients who identify as LGBTQ, said the company’s chief executive officer, James Edward Murray, who interviewed each provider. level said.