Taraji P. Henson Hopes to Erase Mental Health Stigma in Black Community Amid COVID-19 Crisis

The 'Empire' actress talks about her campaign to provide free sessions for people of color when chatting with Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta during a CNN special.

AceShowbiz - Taraji P. Henson has opened up about the wider implications of COVID-19 on the African-American community.

The 49-year-old "Empire" actress chatted with Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta during a CNN special about her mental health programme, in partnership with her Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, helping black Americans and people of colour during the pandemic.

"When COVID happened, my heart went out and I just knew that people were suffering and they're suffering alone in isolation," she shared. "I'm blessed. I can call my therapist. I can pay for it without thinking about it, but what about those who can't?"

Taraji went on to state that, "African-Americans and people of colour are disproportionately affected by not only the virus but the secondary mental health impacts associated with the virus."

She explained: "So we created a virtual fund-raising campaign for free sessions for people of colour and, you know, disadvantaged neighbourhoods."

The "What Men Want" star also touched on the impact the death of George Floyd - the African-American man who was killed at the hands of white police officers on Monday (May 25) - has had on the nation, comparing racism across the U.S. to "trying to stop a bleeding wound and it just keeps bleeding".

"It's just like, it won't let up, you know," she confessed. "But I'm raising money to help those who can't. It's tragic and it's traumatising. And I mean, at this point it seems like we have to save ourselves... My hope is that we eradicate the stigma around mental health in the black community."

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