An extraordinary interview with a professional depression blogger for women of color, Tiffany Shivers, grants us insight into depression control.
Tiffany Shivers is a professional depression blogger for women of color and a motivational speaker on Black women related issues. Her incredible blog “Blaque & Blue” is a community dedicated to promoting mental and emotional wellness in women of color. Tiffany is sure that women of color should face mental illness together. In our interview we discussed different aspects of the depression issue and Tiffany shared her personal tips for happiness.
blackmattersus.comHello, Tiffany! The work you do with Blaque & Blue community means a lot for women of color and for the whole Black community. Please, give our readers information about your community and yourself. How did you come to the decision to start this community? What is so special about Blaque & Blue?
Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in this interview. Black Matters does a great service to our community and I am glad to be able to use your platform to educate others about mental health. I started Blaque & Blue as a response to a personal experience I went through with depression. I became anti-social, lost my appetite, and began to have suicidal thoughts. When looking for answers, I noticed there weren’t many resources or support groups specifically for women of color and not many communities of color speak on mental health. The special part about Blaque & Blue is that it’s built specifically for women of color. We do this through empowerment, story sharing, and providing resources to and for women of color.
blackmattersus.comDo you think women of color are more exposed to depression, stress and suicidal thoughts than white women? What are the reasons for such tendency?
I do not have a clear answer for that, because I do not know firsthand the experience that white women go through. I believe women of color face a lot of societal pressures that expose us to depression, stress, and suicidal thoughts. Our families expect us to be the strong women who takes care of business in all aspects, but, at times, forget that we go through things as well. It is important for our communities to understand that it is not healthy for one women to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders.
blackmattersus.comBlack women are often shamed for their depression. Why so?
I believe the shame comes from the fact that we do not talk about mental health as it relates to our communities. Because we are not as open, people tend to think they are alone in their journey. If we are more open to sharing our stories, we can build a community of support and end the stigma.
blackmattersus.comHigh levels of depression, stress and anxiety are usually caused by the poor standards of living, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and the death of loved ones. Taking it into consideration, can we call the mental health problem a political one?
Yes, I definitely believe mental health is a political problem. We live in communities where resources and education are extremely scarce. A lot, of mental health and emotional issues are caused by lack of a proper diet, lack of exercise, and stress from lack of money or sub par living standards. If we invest in our communities to make them more physically and mentally healthy, I am sure we would see a turn in rates of mental health related incidents and cases.
blackmattersus.comWhat should a woman do if she feels depressed and has suicidal thoughts?
If a woman is feeling suicidal, I urge her to seek help immediately by calling the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Additionally, I urge women to develop strong support circles and research treatment options.
blackmattersus.comWhat do you do to make the life of women who join your community better?
I use Blaque & Blue to make women’s lives better through our three main initiatives of empowerment, story sharing and providing resources for the community. We empower women with workshops, twitter chats and our private Facebook group. We help women to share their stories through our “her-story” series. We believe through creating a supportive community where women can feel empowered we are making a difference in mental health.
blackmattersus.comWhat in your opinion is the secret to a happy life for an ordinary Black woman? Give our readers some tips.
The secret to a happy life is to surround yourself with positive vibes. When I say this, I mean surround yourself with positive people and put yourself in situations where you can grow and prosper.
Above all, I want women of color to understand that they are not alone in their journey to a happier life. We all go through hard times in our life, but it is up to us to remain supportive of each other. Also, if you would like to be part of a larger community of women who suffer from mental health issues, please, visit www.blaqueandblue.com and join our community.