“Swervin’ Through Stress” and Mental Health
Chicago hip-hop artist G Herbo recently partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Audiomack, and InnoPsych to launch a mental health program called Swervin’ Through Stress. The initiative of Swervin’ Through Stress is to put 150 African-American children through therapy for mental health issues. “At their age, you never know how critical it can be to have someone to talk to—to have someone help you better yourself and your situation,” stated Herbo.
The multi-tiered program aims to provide mental health resources in underserved Black communities. It will offer 12 weeks of free therapy sessions, a hotline, and more to Black youth nationwide between the ages of 18-25. Swervin’ Through Stress is focused on eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health in minority communities as well as specializing in therapy for people of color. The sessions are set to begin on Sept. 10.
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WHILE 75% OF ALL LIFETIME MENTAL ILLNESSES WILL BEGIN BY THE AGE OF 24, ONLY 1 OUT OF 3 AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO NEED MENTAL HEALTH CARE RECEIVE IT. EARLY INTERVENTION CAN HELP REDUCE THE SEVERITY OF AN ILLNESS. ACCESS TO RESOURCES IS ESSENTIAL ANNOUNCING SWERVIN’ THROUGH STRESS – IM WORKING WITH @NAMICOMMUNICATE, @AUDIOMACK, AND @INNOPSYCH TO HELP INCREASE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AMONGST BLACK YOUNG ADULTS AND DESTIGMATIZE BLACK CULTURAL NARRATIVES ABOUT THERAPY. SWIPE TO LEARN MORE #SWERVINTHROUGHSTRESS TO DONATE AND GET MORE INFO, VISIT WWW.SWERVINTHROUGHSTRESS.COM (LINK IN BIO)
G Herbo Suffers from PTSD
In an interview with MTV earlier this year, G Herbo discussed how he first found out he had PTSD. “I think it was important for me to talk to somebody who’s never been through the stuff that you been through,” G Herbo said when asked about his decision to go to therapy. “Talking to my therapist, I was telling her certain stuff and she couldn’t believe it. I was so nervous during my first therapy session that I cracked my ID in half. She told me, ‘You have PTSD.'”
G Herbo discussed with MTV how he felt kids born and raised in ‘rough environments’ are more likely to suffer from PTSD. He felt it was important for schools to have therapists readily available for children to talk to. “Schools should have somebody that’s going to ask you ‘How was your day?’ Because a lot of these kids, they don’t have a sense of family, a sense of none of that at home.”.
After being diagnosed with PTSD almost two years ago, Herbo became an outspoken advocate for accessible mental health resources, specifically in underserved Black communities. He wants to normalize therapy for people who’ve suffered as he has. “PTSD is not just related to having experienced violence—it’s a stress disorder,” he says. “It’s about reliving certain moments. People don’t come back from epidemics and recessions when they’re not able to provide for their families for months and months. All that goes right back to PTSD.”
Addressing Mental Health Issues Through Music
Herbo’s early music documented the trauma he endured in the streets and his heavy drug use. He said no one ever presented therapy or any type of professional help to him as an option. He would’ve been much better off if he’d been directed toward the help he needed or if the youth in neighborhoods like his had regular access to mental health resources.
In February, G Herbo released his latest album, PTSD, which explores the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on his upbringing in Chicago. He is not the first artist to address their fight with mental health issues through their music.
Kendrick Lamar opened up about dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts in an interview with hip-hop journalist Rob Markman. Lamar expresses these feelings on the track “U” from his album To Pimp A Butterfly. “I never liked you, forever despise you—I don’t need you! The world don’t need you, don’t let them deceive you.”
In their classic “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me” from their debut album We Can’t Be Stopped, The Geto Boys captured the reality of Post Traumatic Syndrome within urban communities. The song was a reflection of Scarface’s inner turmoil struggling as a manic-depressive and Bushwick Bill’s attempt at suicide.
Today, more and more artists are showing that it’s okay to seek professional help, without it being perceived as a weakness. Mental illness can affect and anyone and it is nothing to be ashamed of.