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Musician breaks down stigma surrounding mental health in Black community

Posted at 8:54 PM, Jul 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-05 23:37:42-04

CLEVELAND — Struggling in silence while searching for a way to break the stigma surrounding mental health within her community, a young Northeast Ohio woman is trying to change that using the power of music.

“When I was five my mother passed away from cancer,” said Raven Platts.

In the years that followed, there was even more heartbreaking loss for Platts that eventually led to anxiety and depression.

“Those feelings I was going through went unchecked until I was about 19,” said Platts.

That's when Platts changed course.

“I decided to seek help,” said Platts.

As for why it took her so long to reach out?

“It wasn’t really something that was talked about,” said Platts.

Platts said within the black community staying silent and not seeking professional help are sadly the norm.

“'Therapy is for white people,' 'Black people don’t go to therapy,' 'Black people don’t need therapy, we’re strong,'” said Platts.

To help break down those long-standing barriers, the singer and songwriter released "Borderline."

“I actually shared my experience and my journey. It was deep and vulnerable,” said Platts.

Every track on the album addresses some aspect of mental illness.

“People need to hear songs that spark conversation,” said Platts.

For Platts, it was important to open up and share her journey.

“It voiced my opinions on the stigma of mental health in my community,” said Platts.

Platts hopes to inspire those who are too afraid or embarrassed to speak up.

“People aren’t really seeing examples of other people leading the way for that conversation,” said Platts.

A conversation that could lead to a courageous moment where someone says "I can't do it on my own and I need help."

“I don’t think we’re seeing people who are okay with being vulnerable,” said Platts.

It's a pivotal moment that Platts said brought her out of a very dark place.

“If I hadn’t gone to therapy, I’d probably not be talking to you today,” said Platts.

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