How are you doing today? Like, really doing?
Have you taken time to care for your own well being?
It’s important for all of us to prioritize our mental health, but not everyone has the tools to do so.
That’s why Dr. Brandi Pritchett-Johnson is working to make sure local teens have the resources to care for their mental health and cope with trauma.
“You deserve to feel well,” Pritchett-Johnson said. “We are so used to coping and surviving that the idea of thriving is just so foreign -- we don’t even know it exists, but it does! So get your healing!”
As the owner of Southfield-based The Diane Morgan Group, Dr. Pritchett-Johnson has helped provide therapeutic support for her clients for more than 10 years -- but she’s even more passionate about the work she does with the younger generation through her nonprofit Future 4 Teens.
“Our purpose is to heal the broken hearted,” she said.
Founded in 2006, Future 4 Teens provides culturally responsive therapy to teenagers of color. Dr. Pritchett-Johnson has found that minority and youth families are less likely to utilize mental health services -- until now.
“Anything that’s therapeutically effective has to be aligned with the lifestyle and the lived experience of the person that you’re working with, period,” Dr. Pritchett-Johnson said. “I am a very versatile woman. I like stilettos. I also like Jordans. When I would show up with my Jordans and my sneakers on, they would be like, ‘Oh, she’s cool! I’ll talk to her!’”
Relating to the students has helped them be receptive to speaking to a therapist, but Dr. Pritchett-Johnson has also found that it is important to check in on the parents, too -- healing for their teen begins with them.
“I see a lot of parents and caregivers seeking mental health services for their teen and, usually, I’ll say ‘Well, how are you doing?,’ because social learning theory is real, and supporting you is supporting them,” she said.
Then, of course, there’s the cost for therapy, which can be difficult for families to afford.
“A big part of being socially conscious is to make mental health accessible and affordable,” Dr. Pritchett-Johnson said. “We provide low cost, sometimes free services.”
Future 4 Teens’ low cost is thanks to, in part, support from the community.
For parents with teens struggling with trauma, Dr. Pritchett-Johnson encourages parents to model self awareness, vulnerability and wellness themselves. She suggests getting therapy as a parent and/or family therapy, not just for the teen.
Dr. Pritchett-Johnson also suggests that everyone creates a wellness plan for themself, which could be something as simple as listening to music, meditation, acupuncture or exercise. She’s also a big believer in journaling.