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We want you to Start Saying More!

Decades of research show that the mental health needs of underrepresented individuals continue to be unmet while the need for therapy in Black and minority communities has risen over the past few years. Between the stigmas around mental health and the sheer lack of accessibility that is faced, beginning therapy is no easy feat for many people. Coupled with the lack of minority of minority providers available, many people may feel a lack of connection and ultimately withdraw from counseling prematurely. Cultural competence is not simply a recommendation when it comes to counseling - it is a requirement for creating a healthy healing environment. It is well documented that a shared cultural experience and/or cultural competence is key to a successful therapy experience and reduces the likelihood of patients dropping out prematurely (1). Plainly put, connecting with your therapist goes beyond simply a therapist-patient match.

 

African Americans are more likely to express symptoms of mental health issues, yet Caucasians utilize therapy at twice the rate that Blacks do. In addition, due to underrepresentation in the field (only about 15% of individuals in the psychology workforce identify as a minority, 5% identify as Black), Black and minority groups are less likely to feel supported in a counseling environment. It’s been shown that biases from providers and the lack of cultural competence are determinants of misdiagnosis, inadequate treatment, and the mistrust of mental health professionals. These disparities then create a compounding issue by preventing individuals from minority communities from seeking or continuing treatment (Nami, nami.org). 

 

At Start Saying More, we want to bridge the gap between you and a therapist by eliminating the search process and reducing the likelihood of giving up on therapy or switching therapists. Using information that you provide on your personality type, experiences, preferences, and areas of concern, we will provide you with a number of professionals that you are likely to have a successful counseling experience with. Basically, we want to help you get rid of the grunt work that comes with searching for a therapist! We know that starting the journey can be the most difficult part, so we aim to make it easier for you to start and more likely for you to stay!

  1. Nami, https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 
- Maya Angelou 

 Who are we?

Olamide Afolabi

CEO

Meet our CEO/Founder, Olamide Afolabi. Olamide is a Nigerian American woman who has spent years dedicating herself to getting as many people as she can into therapy. She holds the strong belief that the ability to unlearn and relearn how to properly process experiences is one of the first things to poise us for success. After years of assisting people with their therapy search individually and understanding the complaints of Black and minority people when it comes to receiving mental health, Olamide had to find a way to get more people into therapy and eliminate as many of the hinderances as possible. 

 

As a person who has also utilized therapy at different points of her life, she knows firsthand how the experience completely shifts once a person has the right therapist. In the past, Olamide had worked with some non-Black mental health providers who simply did not create a comfortable and trusting atmosphere. Due to this, she would half-heartedly attend sessions until she would stop going completely. Each time, it would take years before she put in the effort to find a new therapist. It wasn’t until Olamide found a Black woman therapist with similar personality traits, values, and experiences that she felt fully supported enough to explore herself and do the self work necessary to be a better human, all around.

 

The story of having a difficult time connecting with a mental health provider is not new or uncommon. Understanding this, Olamide is devoted to providing methods to not only get more Black and minority people into therapy, but to retain them as well.

Stay connected with us!

Please stay connected with us on social media. We post tips on making the most out of therapy and on taking care of yourself in general!

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