Resilience: Blooming from concrete

iStock-896570168_Blooming

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.

Turner Tasha-Headshot

Tasha Turner, MA, LPC
Program Director, Trauma Informed Initiatives
Population Health
Spectrum Health Lakeland

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