Actress Taraji P. Henson took full advantage of her opportunity while speaking with Congress over the weekend.
The 48-year-old mental health advocate opened up to peers of the Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health. She delivered an emotional charged address while speaking about her own anxiety and depression. With rising suicide rates, Taraji went on to explain her request of getting more mental health counselors and education available in the black community.
Take a look:
A study published by JAMA Pediatrics identifying kids ages 5-18 committed suicides more and more between 2007-2015 proves the alarming point.
"It breaks my heart to know that 5-year-old children are contemplating life and death. I just...I'm sorry. That one is tough for me. So I'm here to appeal to you, because this is a national crisis. When I hear of kids going into bathrooms, cutting themselves, you're supposed to feel safe in school."
The What Men Want actress acknowledged the lack of awareness because of the taboo that is "therapy" between African-Americans.
"We don't even talk about it. We've been taught to pray our problems away, we've been demonized for coming out saying we have issues and we have trust issues. I need the person sitting opposite from me when I go seek help for my mental...to be culturally competent."
Taraji wrapped up by pleading to "not give up on our kids" and include mental health in school subjects so they can feel more free to talk about it.