This is hopefulness. This is power. This is resilience.
Imagine a rose blooming from the concrete. The seed
withstood being buried and adapted to an oppressive
environment. Eventually it sprang from the ground
and bloomed into a beautiful flower. The seed did not
just survive. It found a way to thrive. This is resilience.
When it comes to the Black community in our area,
the spotlight often lands on the problems, issues,
and barriers—the concrete. And while those things
need to be addressed, focusing on the problems
can cause an overwhelming sense of negativity and
hopelessness. Yes, there are deep-rooted systemic
issues that disproportionately impact the Black
community but there is also amazing strength and
beauty. There is resilience.
Resilience helps us to remember what else is still
true. In the face of adversity, what else is still true?
In the face of oppression, what else is still true?
Where are we going that is beyond surviving and
reaching heights of thriving? Resilience does not
negate or dismiss pain, but instead provides balance
so we are not swept away by the dark.
The Black community here has survived much
adversity and pain that has weighed on our mental
wellness, but thriving is possible and already in action.
Community leaders, individuals, and groups of all
sizes have decided to break the stigma around topics
of mental wellness in the Black community.
According to the 2019 Community Health Needs
Assessment released by Spectrum Health Lakeland,
mental health remains a priority in our community.
Layered now with COVID-19 and the issues of racism
in the forefront of our daily lives, addressing all forms
of wellness is more important than ever.
The Black community in our area has rallied to
bloom—to talk about depression, anxiety, fear, loss,
and grief in ways we have not before. A movement
has begun to reject simply surviving, and instead to
find a space where we can thrive. We are resilient!
To learn more about the Community Health Needs
Assessment, visit spectrumhealthlakeland.org/chna.