When Jay-Z went on CNN last week and talked with Van Jones, he said some pretty important stuff. While the interview touched on a number of subjects (which I won’t get into, sorry!) Hov and Jones briefly discussed mental health, and had some great things to say.
Though it might have gotten lost in the shuffle of some of the other things these men discussed, Jay said that the stigma attached to mental health is “ridiculous.”
Per CNN: “Mental health, PTSD and trauma is so rampant in our community,” Jones remarked to Jay-Z on the premiere of “The Van Jones Show,” before joking that “as scared as black folks are of the cops, we’re even more scared of therapists.”
“Yeah, it’s a stigma,” agreed the 21-time Grammy winner, adding that “as you grow, you realize the ridiculousness of the stigma attached to it.”
Do you know how important this is? For a man of Jay-Z’s stature to comment on mental health in such a way?
It brought me joy and filled me with hope. Yes, he and Jones were discussing mental health in the black community specifically (which I will admit is not my area of expertise when it comes to mental health), but the fact that this was part of the conversation is a large step toward continuing that conversation.
Men don’t often speak up about everything that’s bothering them. It’s definitely in my instinct to ignore what bothers me, and has played a role in the man I am today. But to hear a man who is such a well-known public figure admitting that it’s okay not to be okay during a national TV interview is just, I don’t know, refreshing. I hope to see more of this as time goes on, and that we can continue this honest and open discussion about mental health.