Community Mental Wellness centering around Black women.Camesha Jones
I started Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness because of my own experience of being a mental illness survivor. While I was in recovery, I did not see any spaces for Black women that focused on mental wellness and community. Once I became well and finished my graduate studies in Social Work, I decided to create Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness as a part of the solution to make mental wellness care simple, accessible and centered around the experiences of Black women. Something that I needed and so many Black women need. Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness has had a tremendous impact on how to engage Black women in mental wellness care in Chicago and across the country. We’ve been a part of the Southside from the beginning from having pop-up events at South side businesses, having a small office in South Shore, and now a larger office that can be the top destination for Black women to receive quality care while disrupting inequity in the mental wellness field. We are one of the few businesses that have an explicit focus on community mental wellness care that makes Black women a top priority in healing. We’ve served over 1000 women and counting since we started and do so with care, kindness, and passion. We provide jobs to Black therapists and social workers who have a passion for serving the Black community. Most importantly Black women say that through Sista Afya they have a space just for them, they feel seen, heard, and accepted; which helps them to heal, grow, and thrive.