May is Mental Health Awareness month and we're highlighting a local organization in our own backyard that's committed to Mental Health here in our community.

The organization is called P.O.U.R. It was originally created to assist in introducing young black professional women to the idea of therapy and/or mental wellness practices. P.O.U.R. stands for Promoting Our own Understanding of Resilience. Their focus is to remind their members to pour into ourselves as much as they do into others/other things. I love the fact that this group exists in West Alabama. So often in our community, therapy is looked down upon and looked at as "not normal." I think it should be the exact opposite because I believe to some extent, everyone needs therapy. Sometimes just venting to your close friend or family member is therapeutic but when it's a licensed professional with years of experience in the business and life experience, it becomes more beneficial.

I spoke with a member of P.O.U.R who explained to me why this organization is so powerful and needed in the community. "So many of us are suffering in silence. We are hurting because we don't know how to heal, or even where to start. That's why P.O.U.R. was started. We wanted to assist women in being introduced to the idea of therapy and other mental wellness practices, like yoga, meditation, and healing circles." P.O.U.R offers a safe space for women of color to start their journey of restoration surrounded by a sisterhood of love.

As they continue their work with women in the community, they hope to be able to bring more awareness to mental wellness and focus on healing together as sisters. To continue to uplift, support, and love one another through our good and bad times. One of the best things I've found about P.O.U.R is that they also assist women to find therapists of color in their area to talk to. According to Ayana Therapy, in 2005, only 8.9 percent of those in the psychology workforce were people of color. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of people of color in the workforce nearly doubled. This is a major improvement but still shows a huge lack of representation in the psychology workforce.

P.O.U.R has done yoga events, healing circle events, and invited professionals to speak with the group of women about issues they may experience in life,  related to mental health. P.O.U.R has a group on Facebook for those interested in joining. As stated in their description, the group is private to ensure that it continues to be a safe space for women of color. " Our purpose is not to necessarily exclude anyone, however, please understand that we need a safe space for healing." If you'd like more information on P.O.U.R,  check out their Facebook page.


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