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How Kofi Siriboe is breaking the silence on mental health

AWARENESS: Kofi Siriboe

GHANAIAN-AMERICAN actor Kofi Siriboe is actively using his platform to drive awareness to mental health in the black community. He recently released a short documentary on the topic, titled WTF is Mental Health. He has said that the film “has been a part of a healing process for me, one I’m still exploring”.

Siriboe tackles the area by reflecting on the challenges from a black millennial perspective. The Queen Sugar star said the doc is, “The companion piece to Jump, a short film I made after a mentor and big brother figure died by suicide, just before I got the call that I’d been cast in Queen Sugar.

He said: “I started working on this beautiful, emotional show and felt how liberating it was to channel my fears into art. As I began to mould Jump, I realised the true conversation I was craving centred on young black people who are figuring out this mental health thing, too.”

The film features seven black people from the Bronx who speak on the stigmas attached to mental health and its detriment to their wellbeing.

“I feel like with mental health, people always react negatively. We kinda have a lot of stigma in our community and in society in general. I feel like that space wasn’t really created for us,” he added.

Highlighting the differences in experience, The Girls Trip star explained: “If we don’t admit what’s going on to ourselves, we’re gonna keep hurting in silence, which is killing us twice as much as our Caucasian counterparts. No-one is gonna talk about it because it’s taboo. That’s what I wanna end.”

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