Mental Health Resources for the Black Community in Philly
Including where to find a therapist and how to access free therapy.
In a time when both a global pandemic and police brutality are magnifying America’s ongoing systemic racism, taking care of your emotional and mental wellbeing is a necessary step in mitigating some of the anxiety and trauma and grief you’re facing. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of Black-focused mental health services in the Philly area, ones that are culturally competent and empathy-driven. Below the local guide, we’ve included some mental health resources that are not Philly-affiliated, but still offer assistance and support.
There are a number of Black and Black-focused therapists in and around Philadelphia. To find one whose approach meets your specific needs, check out this directory, which you can filter by neighborhood, type of therapy, specialization, and insurance. This directory is not exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start. (Not listed, for example, is North Philly-based therapist Ronald Crawford, who uses hip hop to help clients explore their trauma and reduce the stigma of mental health in Black communities.)
Founded in 2016 by two Philly marriage and family therapists, Black Brain Campaign is a digital nonprofit focused on making mental health education, resources, and advocacy more accessible for Philly’s Black community. Their mission also centers on making sure treatment is culturally-humble and stigma-reducing. They host virtual discussions and community events on a range of topics, including domestic violence and emotional wellness. Their curated list of Philly Black therapists and counselors can be found here.
63 West Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore
Black Men Heal is a nonprofit that provides free therapy to Black men in and around Philadelphia. The overarching goal of the organization is to eliminate the cost and stigma that are often paired with therapy. Additionally, they recruit licensed counselors of color, so that clients are mindfully paired with supportive therapists. Outside of private and group sessions, Black Men Heal offers interactive training and consultations to local agencies, so that Black men are better supported in the workplace.
1324 West Clearfield Street, North Philly
Formed in 1983 by a coalition of 100 Philadelphia women, the Black Women’s Health Alliance seeks to improve healthcare and reduce health disparities for Black women and their families. Their programs include “Prime Time Sister Circle,” which is a support group focused on stress management, fitness, and nutrition, as well as family leadership and teen dating violence prevention.
Local fitness instructor and motivational coach Lauren Leavell hosts Black Womxn Wellness events, a virtual space for Black womxn and femmes to openly chat, laugh, and connect. The next upcoming event on June 10th is free, and you can sign up here. You can also follow Leavell’s Instagram for future events, which are paid, but always have scholarships available.
Led by local wellness pro Brandi Nicole, Hike & Heal hosts private and group healing circles (and hikes, when it’s safe to do so) focused on self-care and empowerment. This week’s group event, “Hopeful and Healing Hours,” is curated specifically for Black women to navigate current emotions and experiences via breath work, meditation, journaling, and mindful movement. You can sign up for free here.
255 South 17th Street, Rittenhouse and 4100 Main Street, Manayunk
Founder Tonya Ladipo began The Ladipo Group in 2004 after being consistently unsettled by the white-centric one-size-fits-all approach to counseling, which fundamentally ignores the needs of Black clients. That’s why she and her team of licensed therapists offer a wide range of Black-focused therapy services — individual, marriage and family, and child/adolescent — with compassion, cultural awareness, and empathy. Additionally, they provide consulting and training to companies, so that all employees are treated equitably.
MBKCares, a support network for area residents, began in 2007 when founder Ihsan Hines lost his younger brother, Atif, to suicide. In pre-COVID times, the nonprofit hosted free monthly community nights in Cobbs Creek to discuss mental health and suicide prevention/awareness. Currently, MBKCares has been running weekly virtual conversations, ranging from parenting and finances to veterans and art therapy.
505 Old York Road, Jenkintown
Oshun Family Center helped found Philadelphia’s Maternal Wellness Village, a group of birth workers (including doula, lactation, and infertility services) that support and “empower communities throughout the African Diaspora.” Additionally, the center is currently raising funds to provide free therapy to the Black community in and around Philly. The services will be particularly aimed at supporting anyone who is currently experiencing emotional distress and trauma. You can find more info on their Instagram.
255 South 17th Street, Rittenhouse
In light of the recent anti-racism protests, Philly Psychology is offering people of color up to five free sessions with a culturally-competent therapist. To receive services, either email Philly Psychology or call them at 267-712-9217.
3828 Lancaster Avenue, first floor, West Philadelphia
Located in West Philly, Radical Therapy Center serves as a safe, empowering space for clients who are marginalized. All their social workers are people of color, and prioritize understanding their own and clients’ experiences from a lens of structural oppression and liberation. The team can help you navigate an array of issues, like micro-aggressions, trauma resolution, grief, panic, and diet culture.
4522 Baltimore Avenue, West Philadelphia
This self-care hub in West Philly has four main focuses: community, healing, inclusivity, and creativity. The space offers a variety of wellness services, including counseling, therapy, and meditation, which are all led by Black women. Studio 34 also runs yoga classes all week, including a POC practice on Sunday evenings.
The Black Mental Health Alliance supports and empowers America’s Black community with mental health programs, educational forums, and referral services.
Ethel’s Club is a digital and IRL social club that focuses on healing and celebrating people of color through conversation, wellness, and creativity.
This database helps you find therapists whose practices center on marginalized populations, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, the LGBTQ+ community, neurodivergent people, and people with disabilities.
Melanin & Mental Health is an online organization connecting Black and Latinx communities with culturally-competent clinicians. Their podcast, “Between Sessions,” centers on mental health issues in communities of color.
This healing justice organization seeks to provide mental health services and resources for queer and trans people of color across North America.
Though Chicago-based, Sista Afya is offering teletherapy and online support groups for “Black women across the African Diaspora.” Their resources page is a great tool for navigating mental health conditions, payment strategies, and supportive apps and hotlines.
Therapy for Black Girls is a nationally-recognized online space dedicated to supporting Black women’s and girls’ mental health. Here, you can find a therapist (in your area and virtual), listen to their podcast, connect with other Black women.