Other organizations go a step further and help patients organize treatment appointments. Nonprofit Black Man Heel, for example, offers eight free free online consultation sessions. About 70 percent of clients prefer to pay for additional sessions, said Tasnim Suleiman, executive director of a private practice in the Philadelphia area who founded the organization in 2018.
It can be difficult for people of color to find a therapist with a shared cultural background. According to the Census Bureau, about 18 percent of people in the United States identify as Hispanic and 13 percent as black, but a report by the American Psychological Association found that only 5 percent of psychologists are Hispanic and 4 percent are black – 86 percent white. There is a similar difference between social workers and psychiatrists in the country.
Eric Cole, who previously worked in finance, founded Eye Therapy in 2020, eight years after hitting the “rock bottom” while coping with anxiety and depression.
At the time, he struggled to find a physician who could understand the intersection of different identities between a black man and a Senegalese immigrant who lived in different parts of the world.
“This product was almost meant to heal my former self,” he said.
Aina, which means “mirror” in Bengali, asks users to fill out a questionnaire that is meant to capture “your many noises”. Collie said, and then you have to match a culturally competent therapist. Each session online session currently costs $ 60.
Providers are screened through a process that includes two interviews and reference verification.
While Ayya was created for many races and cultures, as well as for those known as LGBTQs, some websites cater to a more specialized set of users such as LatinX Therapy, Therapy for Black Girls, Therapy for Black Men, Asian Mental Health Collective. National Choir and Trans Therapist of Color Network. Melanin and Mental Health show a directory of color therapists, many of whom are based in Houston. Black Emotional and Mental Health Creative Lactive, a wellness nonprofit that trains people to respond to mental health emergencies, has a black online directory with a variety of black practitioners, including physicians, yoga instructors, Dullas and moderators.
Employers are also beginning to recognize the need for culturally competent providers. Indeed, Thumbtack and Critical Mass, part of the Om Moneycom Group, companies have recently partnered with Thirif, which uses artificial intelligence technology to help employees match providers in their state. About 300 of the three online physicians at Trify are people of color and 20 percent specialize in serving customers who identify as LGBTQ, said James Edward Murray, the company’s chief executive, who interviews each provider.