Taraji P. Henson, renowned for her upcoming role in The Color Purple, recently delved into her journey as a mental health activist in an interview with ELLE for their December/January 2023 Women in Hollywood issue. She revealed that her career as an actress propelled her to embrace her true passion: mental health advocacy.
Henson, aged 53, shared, “Acting provided me with a platform, and while I believed I was making an impact through my performances, this foundation is genuinely saving lives.” Expressing her gratitude for her acting career, she acknowledged that it led her to a greater sense of purpose.
In the interview, the actress recounted her own struggles in finding a therapist who shared her background when she needed help coping with her father’s passing. She humorously remarked, “I couldn’t find them—it was like searching for a unicorn.” This personal challenge inspired her to establish the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, named after her late father. The foundation’s mission is to combat the stigma surrounding mental health within the Black community.
Through the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, Taraji P. Henson is actively working to make mental health resources more accessible. She offers free therapy, establishes a scholarship fund to support Black therapists, and creates “wellness pods” in locations such as historically Black colleges and universities.