Taraji P. Henson Talks Breaking the 'Cycle of Suffering' with Mental Health: 'Vulnerability Is Your Strength'

“I broke my silence to free someone else to share their story and ultimately get the support they need," the actress, 52, said

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Taraji P. Henson

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Taraji P. Henson
  • Taraji P. Henson has spoken about suffering from depression and anxiety

  • The 52-year-old founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in 2018 to provide mental health resources to those in need

  • The actress stressed that “vulnerability is your strength” and people should feel empowered to start their “journey to healing”

Taraji P. Henson is sharing why she broke the silence around her mental health struggles.

As part of May's Mental Health Awareness Month, the Oscar-nominated actress, 52, was featured on Verywell Mind, where she discussed using her own experiences to help others going through similar mental health battles.

Henson is one of the honorees of the second annual "Verywell Mind 25," an awards program "honoring the top thought leaders, experts and advocates making a positive impact on mental health today," according to the organization.

Acknowledging that mental health in the Black community has long been dismissed, The Color Purple star said she’s taught her son Marcell to go against the norm and be vulnerable in sharing his struggles and seeking help.

“We have both gone through trauma, and finding a therapist, a support system surrounding you, and accessible resources are a tremendous help and something that should be more readily available to all,” Henson told the outlet.

“Vulnerability is your strength, not a weakness," she emphasized. "We have to break the cycle of suffering so that we can live healthy whole lives without being shackled to our trauma. There are free services out here, whether it’s therapy or yoga or African dance that can help you at least start your journey to healing. Joy is our birthright, and you deserve that.”

Related: Taraji P. Henson's Improved Mental Health Has Led Her to 'Fight' for Herself — and Others: 'I Want to Live'

<p>Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty</p> Taraji P. Henson

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Taraji P. Henson

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The Golden Globe winner previously opened up about her own battle with depression and anxiety.

In 2018, the actress also created the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her father. Henson’s father was a Vietnam War vet, who also suffered from mental illness. He died in 2005.

Through her foundation, she’s not only played a vital role in providing mental health resources, but she’s been working towards eradicating the stigma around mental health in the Black community.

“I broke my silence to free someone else to share their story and ultimately get the support they need," she admitted. "It wasn’t easy, especially when you’re in the public space, but it was worth it. When I get DMs on social media from people who have actually received the free therapy and resources my foundation offers, it fills my heart more than anything I’ve done as an artist.”

Henson told the outlet she still has "a lot of work to do, especially given the cuts in funding to DEI initiatives," but she’s proud of what has been accomplished so far, boasting, “The progress we’ve made in such a short period of time, that keeps me fighting for us.”

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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