Celebrating Black History Month by Honoring Changemakers Who Continue to Raise Awareness for Mental Health

Looking to make a difference? Interested in supporting people in need? Join Crisis Text Line’s community of volunteer Crisis Counselors today!

This February, during Black History Month, we hope that everyone will reflect on both the history and teachings of African Americans and focus on the progress, richness, and diversity of their achievements. In an effort to help spread awareness about mental health advocacy within the Black community, we are honoring and celebrating African American mental health changemakers who continue to inspire us by making a difference through helping and supporting people in need.   

Meet Angie Anaeme, one of our amazing volunteer Crisis Counselors who was recently selected as a mental health changemaker for Black History Month. 

How did you learn about us? 

I first learned about the Crisis Text Line during the height of the pandemic in the summer of 2020. While the physical effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were well-recognized and courageously combated by frontline workers, the mental and emotional toll of this challenging time often did not receive the same attention. Alongside increasing rates of COVID-19, emotional distress and inaccessibility of mental health providers followed a similar upward trend. I learned that the Crisis Text Line was one of the organizations striving to address these challenges and make a meaningful impact in the mental health sphere. As soon as I learned about the Crisis Text Line, I was eager to get involved!

What prompted you to volunteer with Crisis Text Line?

As a medical student and future physician, I recognize the importance of listening actively, forming genuine connections with each patient, and providing individualized care. These abilities and values are at the center of the Crisis Text Line’s mission. I was driven to become a Crisis Counselor to refine these interpersonal skills, while also uplifting the community around me. I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of such a positive and encouraging group of volunteers, supervisors, and coaches who are all dedicated to promoting wellness in our community.

How has volunteering impacted your life?

After two years of volunteering on the Crisis Text Line, I can confidently say that I’ve grown so much as a leader, listener, and community member. Whether connecting people to additional mental health services or simply holding space for them to vent, I have witnessed how powerful it is to lead with empathy and compassion in every interaction. Additionally, I have recognized the importance of letting each texter take the reins of the conversation, as no two texters have the same experiences or goals in reaching out to the platform. Empathy and active listening are applicable in any setting, and I know I’ll continue to apply these valuable takeaways both on and off the Crisis Text Line platform for years to come.

What is your most memorable Crisis Text Line experience?

It’s difficult to choose just one memorable experience on the Crisis Text Line — every single conversation I’ve had has been so special! One memory that sticks out to me was the first time I received texter feedback on the Crisis Text Line platform. After our conversation, one texter expressed her thanks for the time that I dedicated to our conversation and the sincere interest I showed in her hobbies and work. Interactions like these always reinforce my love for working as a crisis counselor and inspire me to continue volunteering.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History is not static: it is currently being made all around us. From Black musicians and athletes achieving groundbreaking accolades in their specialties, to Black scientists championing innovative discoveries in the medical field, our community is constantly being advanced and uplifted by Black leaders. However, these accomplishments would not have been possible without the effort and sacrifices of countless Black advocates and revolutionaries who came before us. To me, Black History Month is a time to both celebrate the trailblazers who made history before us, and to empower ourselves to follow in their footsteps and build a brighter future.

Which Black mental health advocates inspire you and why?

One Black mental health advocate that has inspired me recently is Naomi Osaka. Though her decision to withdraw from the French Open to prioritize her mental health was highly controversial, it has spurred important discussions about mental wellness among athletes and the stigmatization of this topic. After withdrawing, she has continued to shed light on the importance of mental wellness among athletes, and she has partnered with organizations like Modern Health to promote access to mental health services. As a Black woman, a former athlete, and a crisis counselor, I am inspired by Naomi Osaka’s advocacy and transparency about mental health in so many ways.


Michell Clark is a writer, creator, husband, and father that strives to promote positivity and self-love through his “daily doses of self-love.” Michell’s daily posts are reflective and authentic affirmations that urge his followers to create a space for self-reflection, manifestation, and action. He keeps his posts relatable and real so everyone can begin their mental health conversations. His book, “Keep It 100,” is a compilation of daily affirmations for millennials who are tired of being called millennials. He wrote this book to help individuals persevere, laugh, and excel despite whatever challenges may arise.

“I will always choose to invest in a thought process rooted in affirmation, because I’ve witnessed their transformative effect on my own life.” –Michell Clark

Thank you Michell for empowering communities by reminding us all of our power and potential. 


Megan Thee Stallion is a Grammy award-winning American rapper whose lyrics address various topics, including gender, confidence, body positivity, and mental health. Her latest album, Traumazine, features a track titled “Anxiety,” which focuses on her daily mental health struggles. She has become an advocate for mental health and wellness and recently created a website called “Bad Bitches Have Bad Days Too”— a hub with resources where people can find help. The site features links to free mental health organizations and resource directories that cater to historically underrepresented communities. Last year, she opened up about turning to therapy after the deaths of both of her parents.

“I’ve lost both of my parents. Now I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, who do I talk to? What do I do?’ I just started learning that it’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to want to go get therapy.” –Megan Thee Stallion

Megan – you are a true changemaker as you continue to empower others to talk about their mental health challenges and the importance of seeking help. 


Carmela Wallace, the mother of Jarad “Juice WRLD” Higgins, founded Live Free 999 to honor the legacy of her son by supporting young people in their battles and to do so with love, joy and emotional honesty. Through his music, Jarad shared the emotions that tormented him, which resonated with his fans who shared the same struggles. Live Free 999’s mission is to support programs that provide preventative measures and positive avenues to address mental health challenges and substance dependency. Through financial grants and partnerships, Live Free 999 bolsters organizations providing positive mental health treatments and alternatives to drug use. Beyond providing financial support, Live Free 999 wants to continue the conversation around mental health and addiction.

“I made the decision upon my son’s death that I was going to share his struggles with the world with the objective of helping others. It is my desire to help those who are hurting by providing access to education, prevention and treatment for opioid and other forms of drug addiction. It is my hope that Live Free 999 will help people just as Jarad’s music has and will continue to touch lives for years to come.” – Carmela Wallace

Thank you Carmela for helping us build an empathetic world where no one feels alone.


Stay tuned! We will be announcing next week’s changemaker on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Looking to make a difference? Interested in supporting people in need? Join Crisis Text Line’s community of volunteer Crisis Counselors today!
















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