What started as an accident, says founder Elyse Fox, became a mental health safe haven for many women of color. In 2016, the self-proclaimed filmmaker by trade released a documentary titled Conversations With Friends (& Acquaintances), which told the story of what she calls her worst year of living with depression.
The documentary chronicled her traveling, shooting amazing artists, and being in spaces where she seemed happy. When those moments were being filmed, many did not realize she was also experiencing suicidal ideation and anxiety attacks. This juxtaposition captured on film resonated with people — especially Black women.
Today, seven years later, the Sad Girls Club Instagram page is home to 256K followers and counting and is one of the most popular wellness platforms for women, girls, and femmes of color. Since its founding in 2017, Sad Girls Club has helped its audience access mental health resources and safe spaces, which have been especially valuable during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As part of the Remedy program, Sad Girls Club gives free mental health therapy to members of their community who cannot afford it. As well as providing mental health professionals who look like them, they are also creating a platform for their communities to connect with each other. Sad Girls Club creates access for women of color in the wellness space, and Fox discusses how other platforms can do the same.
Fox says, “With Remedy, we are granting a minimum of 12 grantees in 2023 with one year of therapy, and that’s two sessions per month. We also have created a database of therapists in every single state. They’re a part of the BIPOC community, and some are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. We’re also looking at providing services for people who are hard of hearing or deaf and seeing how we can make this as seamless an experience as possible. It’s nice to have money to go to therapy, but finding the right therapist is such a tricky, tricky thing.”
Fox also adds, “With SGC, providing community is a huge part of how we heal, as well as giving people the agency to create their own communities after they experience what SGC is doing. Our events aren’t super glamorous, and while they are Instagrammable in some ways, they’re mainly people with their phones down sharing their experiences and the next steps in their mental health journey. I think that other brands can look at themselves and see how they may be impacting the mental health space negatively and where they can show up in a way that’s sensitive to their brand and to their consumer.”
Check out the Sad Girls Club website here!
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or Call BlackLine at 1-800-604-5841.