Joy Bradford, an alumna of the University of Georgia's College of Education and a licensed psychologist based in Atlanta, was recently featured on Forbes.com to discuss her mental health podcast, Therapy for Black Girls, and passion for promoting mental wellness in black women.
By fostering a safe space to present mental health topics to black millennial women in a digestible way, Bradford aims to alleviate the stigma surrounding mental health and therapy, as well as the process of seeking relief for mental health issues within the black community.
"I think that sometimes black millennial women worry their issues are not 'big' enough to go to therapy, and so they don't utilize the service," said Bradford, who received her doctoral degree in counseling psychology. "I also think that, sadly, a lot of black millennial women also don't feel like providers will really get them, and it feels really hard to go into a space where you're supposed to be very transparent, but not able to be comfortable."
Previously a college counselor, Bradford created the Therapy for Black Girls platform in 2014, which now reaches over 32,000 members with its blog, podcast, social media communities and national therapist directory that lists black women mental health providers around the country.
In the Q&A article, Bradford said she created the space so black women could find more information about mental health that felt relevant and accessible. The website also serves as a platform to share information about what can be done to encourage mental wellness, as well as how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness.
"I think the podcasts that have explored suicidality and sexual assault have been the toughest because there is still so much misinformation out there, and people are often still holding onto myths about both suicide and sexual assault that simply are not true," said Bradford. "Those conversations can be really tough to have, but it's also really important for me to have space where we can tackle these topics, so people can get the information they need to help take care of themselves and their loved ones."
Bradford, who graduated in 2006, is focused on breakup and divorce recovery, depression, work-life balance, relationship skills and self-esteem improvement. She also works with undergraduate and graduate students in areas such as procrastination, stress management, dissertation/thesis support and career development.