Taraji P. Henson will be breaking a Black generational curse with her new Facebook show: tackling mental health. Her show, Peace of Mind with Taraji touches on mental health issues that impact the African American community and allows a safe space to talk about them. Henson co-hosts the show with her longtime best friend Tracie Jade.
“Mental health has always been an issue,” Henson said. “It’s about normalizing the conversation so that Black people will go seek help and be okay with it.
The Empire actress is a longtime advocate for mental health. In 2018, she created a nonprofit, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which offers virtual therapy sessions and scholarships to African American students with aspirations to enter into mental health career fields. The non-profit is named after Henson’s late father, a Vietnam veteran who struggled with mental health issues. The Golden Globe actress said the show is just an extension of that foundation.
“We launched the foundation [two years ago] and then we felt like we weren’t reaching enough people,” she said. “And it was like, “Okay, so how do we use my celebrity and get it more to the masses?” We thought why not a talk show where we continue to further the conversation — to try and normalize the conversation. That’s what we pitched to Facebook. And they saw the value.”
The first episode aired on Dec. 14 and featured Gabrielle Union-Wade. The actress discussed the post-traumatic stress disorder she developed after she was raped at gunpoint when she was 9-years-old.
Other topics will touch on holiday isolation from family and suicide. Special guests will include Mary J. Blige and Tamar Braxton.
Peace of Mind with Taraji airs weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays at noon on Facebook Watch.