Public Relations and Event Manager & Founder of Milan 360 Strategies
This week, we sat down and interviewed our Mental Health Mentor Jasmine Milan. As a woman of color in the media and entertainment industry, she walked us through some of the challenges she faces in her profession.
Tell me about your mental health and self-care journey.
When asked about her self-care journey, Jasmine mentioned that in November she had experienced the death of multiple friends that were close to her. Unable to understand how this emotional tragedy was affecting her body, she began to experience physical symptoms of her grief and had her first-ever anxiety attack. This then triggered a series of anxiety attacks, shortness of breath, hypersensitivity, and even pneumothorax.
Her shocking diagnosis of pneumothorax, frequently diagnosed to stab or gun wound victims, left her in and out of the hospital and even unable to eat. She then knew it was time to seek help and start her self-care journey. Jasmine told us that her journey has consisted of her prioritizing her thoughts and re-iterating positive self-talk when negative thoughts arise. She noted the insecurities she’s faced as a black woman and the pressures of society for black women to be superwomen as a contributing factor to her stress and anxiety.
What is it like being a black woman in the media struggling with mental health issues?
When asked about her experience as a black woman in media she stated that the media doesn’t always do a great job of portraying the black story. “There’s a lot of pressure on black publicists. We aren’t allowed to make mistakes”, says Jasmine. She specifically spoke about the trend of celebrities using their platforms to speak up against racial injustice following the Black Lives Matter Movement in June 2020. During this time, she turned down several “clean-up” jobs from clients that had said negative racial statements in the past. She spoke on how black professionals in media have extra pressure from a morality and character standpoint that their white counterparts do not have to experience.
Do you feel adequate support with expressing your mental health issues?
When asked if she felt like she had support with expressing her mental health issues, she said no. She stated that there wasn’t enough acknowledgment for mental health issues and how there’s never been a space and time where POC have been allowed to feel. She said as a woman in media she feels robotized and like she can’t have bad days. She re-iterated that having emotional intelligence and self-awareness puts you ahead of the pack. She thinks that if more people honored their emotions and dealt with their trigger points and trauma it would benefit them more.
What tips do you have for women of color experiencing mental health issues?
Jasmine said her #1 tip she has for WOC experiencing mental health issues is to take time off. She stated that taking time off and being connected with a sense of self should be people’s #1 priority. “Our generation wants everything now. Nobody is honoring God’s timing”, she states. She also suggested to not get caught up in what everybody else is doing and stay true to your authentic self.
Find out more about Jasmine Milan by following her on her Instagram, @jasminemilan.