“This field honestly picked me. Becoming a therapist sounded like the calling of a hero, and I wanted to be part of that league. I am passionate about discussing mental health and suicide because in those raw moments, people are searching for hope. 
In my professional and personal opinion, there is a lack of trust within systems (i.e., medical), due to systemic mistreatment of black people when seeking help, inadequate access to insurance, and lack of representation with mental health providers. Growing up in a Haitian household, we were taught that if someone had a mental health disorder, you ignore it. Like in my household, there is a failure to understand the severity of mental health in the black community due to a systemic problem of acceptance. 
I once read an article that discussed shifting mental illness to mental wellness. When we employ strength to something viewed as being weak, then we encourage growth and usher compassion. This is the reason I created my first book “Just Like A Hero”. 
One day, working in therapy with a young black boy who was battling with poor view of self, depression and anxiety, I wanted to find a book to read to him. A book that outlined mental health, in a way he could understand. A book that he could see the intrinsic value of his worth, the beauty of his dark skin, the power that lies within him as a HERO. However, no matter what words I typed in the search bar, nothing would populate meeting my desired criteria. So in that moment, I decided to be the change. 
When all feels lost and taking another breath simply just hurts in that moment, just remember that your value, your worth far exceeds that painful second. You can exist outside of that pain. There is hope, which lies in seeking help. There is a hero inside of you, let that power out in those seconds of hurt.“ 
— Vlad, LCSW