Various mental health service providers gathered in North Beach on Saturday for an event called “Respect My Mind.” The event, organized by Fillmore hip-hop artist Isiain Lalime (also known as GunnaGoesGlobal) and Hunter’s Point Tinisch Hollins, aimed to improve the psychological well-being of San Francisco’s Black and underserved communities through conversation and camaraderie. Lalime’s Isiain Foundation and Hollins’ Californians for Safety and Justice are partnering to bring more mental health resources to neighborhoods such as Bayview, Hunter’s Point, and Fillmore. The event included about 30 community members representing grassroots organizations focused on mental health services. They networked and shared ideas on ways to make these services more relevant and accessible to the communities they serve.
Discussions at the event covered topics such as suicide, depression, anxiety, and nontraditional approaches to addressing mental health issues in San Francisco’s Black and Brown communities. Hollins, who lost her brother to suicide in 2021, emphasized the importance of being around others who are also healing from trauma. Autumn O’Bannon, from Hunter’s Point, discussed her project, Concrete Rose Correspondence School, which partners with Californians for Safety and Justice to provide current and formerly incarcerated individuals with the opportunity to obtain a commercial driver’s license. O’Bannon highlighted the importance of community conversations about mental health to destigmatize the topic and expand the understanding of what mental health support can look like.
Lalime, known for representing the culture of San Francisco through various media endeavors, discussed the impact of media and music on mental health. He emphasized the importance of balance and how imbalanced media can be detrimental to mental well-being. Lalime expressed his commitment to organizing future “Respect My Mind” projects, establishing a network of mental health providers, and bringing resources directly to community members. The partnership with the Isiain Foundation aims to create a center of community support to provide residents with immediate access to city resources.
Hollins emphasized the need for an “Underground Railroad” of community support for accessing mental health services, acknowledging that the city’s waitlists can be a significant barrier. She emphasized the legitimacy of grassroots mental health support and the role it plays in serving underserved communities. The goal is to bridge the gap between formal and informal mental health support and provide necessary resources to those in need.