Celebrating Black History Month

The Compass – Feb 2024


Black History Month, celebrated annually in February, is a time dedicated to celebrating the rich heritage, achievements, and resilience of Black people. While we reflect on the numerous contributions of Black individuals to society, it’s also crucial to address the challenges and disparities they face, particularly in the realm of mental and behavioral health.

The profound influence of historical trauma, systemic oppression, and social determinants of health within the Black community cannot be emphasized enough. These factors often exacerbate mental health issues, leading to higher rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other conditions. Despite these challenges, there is a spirit of resilience and strength that continues to thrive within the community.

One area where the intersection of Black history and mental health is keenly felt is within the foster care system. For many Black children and adolescents, this system becomes a lifeline, offering support and guidance during times of crisis. However, it also highlights the systemic issues that disproportionately affect Black families, including poverty, inadequate access to healthcare, and overrepresentation in the child welfare system.

Throughout our programs, the importance of culturally competent care cannot be overstated. It’s essential to recognize and affirm the unique experiences and identities of Black youth, providing them with a safe and supportive environment where they can heal and thrive. This includes incorporating culturally relevant therapeutic approaches, acknowledging the impact of racism and discrimination on mental health, and fostering connections with positive role models within the community.

At Everstand, we are committed to addressing the needs of Black children and families with compassion and empathy. Through our culturally responsive programs and services, we strive to empower individuals to overcome adversity, build resilience, and create brighter futures. We recognize that healing is not a one-size-fits-all journey and are dedicated to providing personalized care that meets the unique needs of each individual we serve.

As we reflect on Black History Month and honor the legacies of those who have paved the way, let us also recommit ourselves to creating a future where disparities are eliminated, and every individual has the opportunity to thrive. Together, we can build a more inclusive and equitable society where all voices are heard, valued, and uplifted.

In closing, let us remember the words of Maya Angelou:

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” May we face the challenges ahead with courage and compassion, knowing that through unity and understanding, we can create positive change for generations to come.


Rev. Amor Del Rosario
Director of Spiritual Life, Everstand