Three to Watch: Women of Color Speak Out on the Importance of Mental Health

The following are three amazing women who have taken the darkness of mental health and highlighted it through the power of poetry. This is a serious issue that is not being discussed—in a county where nearly 15 million Americans, one in 10 adults, experience depression each year. Women experience depression at roughly twice the rate of men, regardless of race or ethnic background, and only an estimated 12 percent of African American women seek help and/or treatment, as it is viewed as a personal weakness or not a health problem.*

Here are three women breaking the stigma, speaking out and shining a light on it. Let them be a reminder that you are not alone.

1. Taylor Steele: Falling Slowly

…but depression isn’t beautiful,

isn’t romance.

A man once told me

he found my going to therapy


I said ‘I will fight you.’

2. Angelique Palmer: What to Wear to your Standing Appointment With Your Shrink After the Two Most Horribly Challenging Weeks of Your Life So as Not to Get Committed to the Nearest Mental Facility As A Danger To Yourself and Others—A Love Poem

…It is the 20 year old remix that says

you hate the person that you are becoming.

Black reminds you of a time you wanted to

erase, cloak invisible, disappear.

Do not invisible.

Do not disappear.

Do not wear black.

3. Tonya Ingram: I am Twenty-Two

…I am a Gryffindor

who begins attacking the normal part of my body

for never seeing The Notebook.

The butterfly rash across the bridge of the nose

is depression.

*statistics from


National Alliance of Mental Health:
(for help in answering questions regarding symptoms of mental illness, treatment, local support groups, legal resources, etc.)


Monday-Friday 10am-6pm EST

National Suicide Prevention Hotline


These are 24 hour resources. If you feel like you need to speak to someone, please know that you are not alone and there are people willing to walk with you in this fight. Depression is real and can be treated. You are not broken. You are a beautiful survival story waiting to break open. 

Contributing Editor

SaraEve Fermin is a performance poet and epilepsy advocate from New Jersey. An East Coast heart jumping circus trains, she is the editor-in-chief of Wicked Banshee Press. Nowadays can be found volunteering at National Poetry Slam Events. She is a Women of the World Poetry Slam Competitor and her work can be found in GERM Magazine, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Free Verse Magazine and Transcendence among others. Her second book of poetry, The View From The Top of the Ferris Wheel, will be published by Emphat!c Press in 2015. She believes in the power of foxes and self publishing.