Yesterday I did a talk in Belize City about mental health and psychotherapy for a women’s organization named PETAL (Promoting Empowerment Through Awareness for Lesbian/Bisexual Women). It was an all-day event, part of a recent series of “conversations,” and the topic was psychosocial support. The organization was started to address the specific needs of lesbian and bisexual women, but for this event the coordinators thought it best to open it up to all women. About 65 folks showed up, and there was a mix of straight and gay women from different parts of the country.
My bit was about self-awareness and the benefits of therapy. I kept it pretty casual and just talked about my background and the work that I do. The women responded really well to me and were engaged in the discussion. They mostly spoke Kriol, and I was actually able to keep up, which was cool. I got to hang out afterward and talk more with some of them, and they said it was good to have a “professional black woman” talking to them about this stuff. It was explained to me that mental health services in Belize primarily consist of psychiatric nurses pushing meds in hospitals and no therapy. Boo.
I had previously agreed to do the talk pro bono, but at the end I found out that the organization received some last-minute funding. They gave me this:
My first paid gig in Belize. Ow ow oowww!