Mental Health Spotlight: Black LGBTQIA+ Therapy Fund
Throughout January, we will be spotlighting the work of incredible organisations which focus on providing spaces of healing, joy & community – especially for Black LGBTQIA people.
In this article, we find out more about the aims, motivations and goals of Rose Frimpong, who is the founder & director of the Black LGBTQIA+ Therapy fund.
What were your motivations behind starting Black LGBT Fund?
Rose: It was in the middle of lockdown and it was Pride Month. We were exposed to so much trauma via social media, and something like that is bound to affect the minds of many people. I was asked by a friend if I knew any organisations that were solely working on helping out Black Queer people to get therapy. I didn’t off the top of my head, so I promised I’d look around. After searching all day I was unable to find one, so I decided to create a GoFundMe campaign. I thought if I could help two people to pay for their therapy I would be so happy. We ended up raising £79K (& counting!)
What is your proudest moment with Black LGBT Fund?
Rose: It has got to be the moment the clients actually started therapy. It just felt so real! It was a proud and emotional moment for me and the rest of the team. It became real.
What are some of your 2021 plans for Black LGBT Fund? How can we support your work?
Rose: Now that we are back in lockdown most of our plans have gone out the window but we aim to still go ahead and do things virtually. The number of people that applied to the fund was so much, I quickly realised I won’t be able to help everybody even though I wanted to. So instead we will be holding virtual workshops and safe spaces to help people with their mental health. We also aim to partner with other organisations to provide fun and active activities.
A huge plan of ours is to collect data to provide statistics about the mental health of Black LGBT mental health. At present, there aren’t any in the UK. Most stats are focused on the BAME community as a whole. I feel this isn’t representative enough because there is no proof to say how many Black people are part of the sample. Also, Black queer people have different issues to other ethnic groups, so I think it’s important our data is collected for only our specific community. Details to fill out this survey can be found here.
Applications for therapy are open in February 2021.
You can all follow us on our social media for more information:
You can also donate funds to our GoFundMe page which is still open until we are able to get our website up and running. Lastly, education goes a long way with regards to understanding. Read up on the struggles and joy of the Black LGBTQIA+ community and become real allies.
Could you give us a final message of hope for any LGBTQ folk who may be struggling right now?
Rose: I would first like to say if anybody is in any immediate danger, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123 and well done for recognising that you need help.
Secondly, I would like to say that you are not alone, it is hard times right now and we all share how you feel right now. Create a daily routine, don’t forget to eat, especially breakfast in the morning. Go out for some exercise and just focus on yourself! You will feel better, and I am sending you love!
Image from the Black LGBTQIA+ Therapy Fund