Black women's help-seeking and self-care strategies: A phenomenological exploration

Melany J. Silas, Derek X. Seward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Within counseling and other mental health disciplines, Black women are underserved, psychologically misdiagnosed, and one of the least researched minoritized cultural populations. We used a hermeneutic phenomenological study to understand the lived experiences of 16 Black women who experienced mental health stress to understand their mental health needs, barriers to mental health care, and help-seeking and self-care practices. Findings included the following four themes: perspectives on oppression on mental health, socio-cultural messages about self-care and help-seeking, perspectives about self-care, and perspectives about professional counseling. Implications for counselors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Counseling and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Black women
  • diversity
  • multicultural
  • phenomenology
  • social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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