Taraji P. Henson is playing a major part in helping to eradicate the stigmas surrounding mental health in the Black community by launching the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which she named after her late father.
The Empire star officially announced the venture, over the weekend, during her Boutique of Hope charity fundraiser.
In a statement detailing the event, it was shared that the money raised from it marked the foundation’s initial mission of bringing art to the bathrooms of inner city schools to help fight depression, bullying and suicide.
Sharing her thoughts on the inspiration behind the foundation’s powerful name and what motivated her to pursue this, she referenced her father’s personal mental health journey.
“I named the organization after my father because of his complete and unconditional love for me; his unabashed, unashamed ability to tell the truth, even if it hurt; and his strength to push through his own battles with mental health issues,” she said. “My dad fought in The Vietnam War for our country, returned broken, and received little to no physical and emotional support. I stand now in his absence, committed to offering support to African Americans who face trauma daily, simply because they are black.”
Speaking with Variety, she also expounding on her son’s mental health woes, sharing that it became a task finding someone he could relate to.
“Someone that he could trust, someone that looks like him and could understand his struggle,” she told the publication. She went on to add that it became difficult as “they wouldn’t be African American and it wouldn’t get anything accomplished because he felt guilty for the things he was saying.”
The award-winning actress shared a photo from the event, which she sweetly dedicated to her late father.
Take a look, below:
We salute Taraji for shining a light on mental health awareness in the African-American community and divulging such personal details from her life to help others.