This time of year, individuals often focus on preparing for family Easter traditions. This can make National Counseling Awareness Month easier to miss. Holidays can be a tender spot for some people who share the world with us. It is a prime time to point to the benefits of shedding the stigma of pursuing counseling services when mental health concerns arise.
Yvette Lloyd is an entrepreneur, author of “Healing from Loss,” and podcaster who hails from Akron, Ohio. She knows that holidays—from New Year celebrations to Easter— can be particularly difficult for individuals who lost loved ones. Lloyd lost her mother-in-law in January of 2019. The death of her mother occurred in October of 2019. Then in December of 2020, her husband, James Lloyd died suddenly.
Instead of concealing her painful experience, Yvette opted to use her online presence to shed light on the impact of grief and loss. An Instagram video she posted featuring her mother and husband dancing before they passed away garnered 150,852 likes.
“Now my mommy and husband are dancing together in heaven,” Yvette wrote with the video clip.
Although Yvette can cherish this invaluable video which was filmed during happier times, she is left to live with the memory of losing two people. Yvette identified them as giving her unconditional love and purpose.
Behind the scenes, Yvette addressed the new void in her life. She pursued counseling services after losing her mother. The podcaster told The Baltimore Times newspaper that reaching out to a counselor of color has been extremely effective in finding coping strategies.
“I go to counseling, pray, and meditate on the regular basis. Also, I keep myself busy and make sure I am surrounded by positive like-minded people,” Yvette said. “Holidays caused me to readjust a lot. Losing important people in my life has been difficult to settle into my new life. I don’t have children, so I am alone.”
According to Mental Health America (MHA)— which is a community-based nonprofit founded in 1909 by Clifford W. Beers— mental health providers of color, “who are known to give more appropriate and effective care to Black and African American help-seekers, make up a very small portion of the behavioral health provider workforce.” However, Yvette’s positive counseling experience pointed out how helpful finding a culturally sensitive provider can be in the process of seeking mental health treatment.
Sometimes a starting point of finding the right counselor may require personal referrals or independent research. Psychology Today is one example of a platform where counselors of color may be located by using search options.
Individuals like Yvette who take proactive measures to redefine their journeys after major life changes surface find other ways to cope. Ironically, Yvette started her podcast before her mother passed away. The plan was for the mother and daughter to team up uplifting women through life’s issues as an extension of her work mentoring and preparing them for adulthood, college preparation, job readiness and personal development. In December of 2021, the millennial was even recognized by the Ohio House of Representatives, because of the positive impact she made to empower girls.
Yvette continued to build Life Her Podcast’s audience, despite the loss of her mother. It currently attracts listeners from 18-65 who are men and women seeking empowerment and informative interviews. By running Life Her Podcast, Yvette uses her platform to uplift and inspire people to be transparent about their own testimonies.
“Grieving isn’t a weakness. It is an organic feeling that will never go away, but it will get easier if you let it and don’t let it define you,” Lloyd said.
Please visit www.lifeherpodcast.com to learn more about Yvette’s podcast and book.