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Taraji P. Henson Tackles Mental Illness

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Taraji P. Henson launched a new foundation to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health within the Black community.

The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which was named after her late father, aims to “provide support and bring awareness to mental health issues that plague our community.” The organization’s mission is to provide mental health support in urban schools, reduce prison recidivism rates and to increase the number of African-American therapists.



In a statement to PEOPLE, Henson spoke of her love for her father. “I named the organization after my father because of his complete and unconditional love for me; his unabashed, unashamed ability to tell the truth, even if it hurt; and his strength to push through his own battles with mental health issues.”


Thank you @variety for showcasing The Boris Lawrence Henson foundation (named after my father) Launching September 22, 2018 to help end mental stigma in the black community. WE MUST TAKE CARE OF OUR MENTAL!!! #StayTuned #ShehasbeenVERYbusy pictured here with my BFF and Executive Director of #BLHF @traciejade #Staytuned 💋💋💋

A post shared by taraji p henson (@tarajiphenson) on

The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation will officially launch with a fundraising event, ‘Taraji’s Boutique of Hope,’ on Sept. 22 in Los Angeles. Henson’s best friend Tracie Jenkins will serve as BLHF’s executive director.


“BLHF is breaking the silence by speaking out and encouraging others to share their challenges with mental illness and get the help they need,” Jenkins explained. “African-Americans have regarded such communication as a sign of weakness and our vision is to change that perception.”


You can find out more about BLHF and how you can get involved via the website.

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