Profile of a Young Black Creator & Mental Health Advocate
"Black creators are finally getting the recognition they deserve and for a very long time this world has thrived off of our ideas. I feel like it is a part of my life’s mission to contribute to that." - Raymond Campbell III
When I was graduating from high school, my older sister told me that college is the place where I'll make my lifelong friends. I prayed then that she was correct because I couldn't imagine getting through such a big change in my life without good friends by my side. I've come to realize that my sister was right because throughout my college journey, I made a few friends who I can definitely see being there for the biggest moments in my life. In my freshman year of college, I met an unassuming but incredibly creative young man named Raymond Campbell III and since then he's been a friend that I know I can always call on and he's doing great things in his life.
Recently, Raymond began working on a podcast titled Mental Health Goodness, that's main purpose is to discuss mental health issues and how to overcome them. As a twenty-four year old, Raymond understands what it is like to battle mental health issues and he wants to work to end the stigma surrounding it.
Mental health has always been important to me. As it should be to everyone else. I’ve struggled a lot with things like depression and anxiety, but you have to take care of yourself no matter what, especially your mind. Because everything we think, say and everything we do, starts from up there.
#BlackLivesMatter and Black Mental Health
As a Black man living in the U.S., his experiences with mental health have not always been so open and accepting and for him, a big part of ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues starts within the Black community.
Mental Health is not talked about enough in our Black & African American communities. It is not something to be treated lightly either. People often treat a person struggling with their own as if they were so called “crazy”. But you are far from that. You are going through something and it is embedded deep, deep within you. Whatever that something is it hurts and sadly, sometimes you are the only one who is aware of that pain.
Raymond also recognizes how much external factors like racial injustice and political unrest can have a major effect on the mental health of Black people. Being a marginalized group in society makes systemic issues into personal ones. It is impossible for Black people to remove their Blackness from their identity and it causes many to carry the weight of issues plaguing the Black community in their minds at all times.
Scientific studies have even proven that Black people are less likely to receive treatment for mental health issues and less likely to report having mental health issues despite having higher risk factors than the general population. And for Raymond, he wants to be able to influence a whole community and even the world to take their mental health seriously and know that it is okay to struggle sometimes.
I think a big part of me has always wanted to help people, in some way, shape or form. I believe it is my life’s mission. Like that is why I am here. With this podcast, I feel like I have the opportunity to influence an entire audience in the most positive way possible.
Raymond wants to specifically challenge African American men to take their mental health seriously and not look at it as a sign of weakness. As an African American man who is now very vocal about his own struggles, he wants other men within his community to know that being vulnerable is not the same thing as being weak and when talking about how Black lives matter, that statement should also include Black mental health. Especially because the suicide rate among African Americans is increasing.
The Pandemic and Mental Health
As the world approaches the one year anniversary of the lockdown due to COVID-19 that began in March of 2020, it is impossible to not think about how the pandemic has affected people's mental health. Like many people in the past year, Raymond struggled with his own mental health issues, inspiring him to create his podcast.
Part of me believes that everything I had to endure during this pandemic is what brought me here, at this point in my life right now, working on my show “Mental Health Goodness”. I spent a lot of time alone, and the pandemic was just the icing on that terrible, terrible cake. But in that silent chaos I got the beautiful idea for this show. I mean the podcast was not just another hobby. It was something that I needed to do. To share my life experiences with the audience and how my own mental health has been shaped thus far. In hopes that they can continue to learn from these experiences and grow into the best person they could be, just as I plan on doing.
Being a Black Creator & His Future Plans
Raymond is not a mental health professional, but he is someone who is passionate about helping those around him and he hopes that just by sharing his experiences and what he knows, he can do just that. Raymond's creativity is not just limited to his podcast, however, he also has other aspirations for his life that involve using his creative mind.
I just want to be able to look back at this show and know that it actually helped someone. That someone was able to learn something from it. I am also very much into fashion design, so I can totally see myself starting a sustainable brand that will help to further spread my message about mental health.
Raymond believes in supporting Black businesses, innovators, and creators and feels honored to be a part of a growing community that is finally being recognized for their talents.
Black creators are finally getting the recognition they deserve and for a very long time this world has thrived off of our ideas. I feel like it is a part of my life’s mission to contribute to that.
On his Instagram and on his podcast, he plans to promote Black businesses and creators by using his platform to showcase those who inspire him to his audience. As his platform grows, hopefully, so will the support for other Black creators who he believes in.
The first season of Mental Health Goodness is currently in the works and Raymond plans to incorporate listener comments, music, and interviews into the show to make it an immersive experience. And who knows? You might even catch yours truly on an episode.
Make sure to follow Mental Health Goodness on Instagram and Spotify and be on the look out for full episodes of the podcast coming soon. And of course, continue to support Black businesses, Black creators, and Black lives.