Mental Health in Caribbean Culture | Jhadee Gordon

I am Jhadee K. Gordon an HBCU grad, blogger and your favorite internet friend lol. I am a born and breed Guyanese who moved to America at age 14. I basically blog about my experience in America thus far and all the similarities and differences within the culture. I basically just want to open up the eyes immigrants to the real “tea” of living in America. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter. Oh and when I’m not blogging I’m studying to become a CPA and working

  • How are /were you affected by mental health?
At about age 9 - 13 when I was still living in Guyana my dad took in his older sister. She had/has dementia and was partially schizophrenic. Now we all know that mental illness is taboo in our culture so when he did his research and realized what was going on with her everyone thought he was crazy as well. Everyone in my family thought (and probably still thinks) that someone put voodoo on her (wuk obeah on her).
When she moved in it was hard to deal with having her around because I was so young. My stepmother didn’t make things easy because she would mumble things under her breath and say that she was faking and nothing was wrong when my dad would be catering to her. It made me lowkey hate her.

  • How are you being supported?
As a child, my dad would talk to me about my aunt's mental illness but that was about it. I think it was helpful because I have a better understanding of mental illness and how it affects you and the people around you.

  • Do you feel that schools have the tools to support the youths suffering from mental health illnesses?
In today’s age, no. Maybe once our generation starts taking over but currently I don’t think schools have support tools especially schools in predominantly black areas. In the Caribbean, I think it's even worse because students get bashed for feeling “depressed” because “if ya got a roof ova ya head and ya got food how you depressed.” The narrative of mental illness is still taboo so until then schools and students in both black American and Caribbean communities will suffer

IG - @8yearsandcounting__
Twitter - @__JaydeeG

Jhadee K. Gordon
IG - @8yearsandcounting__