Hiya honeys. My name is Taylor Jade and I am a Mental Health First Aider and also the founder of Talk Mental Health with Tay (tmhwithtay). TMHWITHTAY is a platform for people to feel comfortable with exploring their mental health and encouraging individuals to look at symptoms of mental illness so there can be early intervention before things worsen.

Although mental health seems to be all I surround myself with now because I want to raise awareness as much as I can, it does NOT define me, and I guess I actually struggle to separate myself from that. I would define myself as honest, empathetic, self-aware and insightful. If someone asked me six years ago to define myself, I’d say I was the opposite to all of these but that’s purely because life experiences have taught me so many lessons that I’ve grown into this new definition of myself. I truly believe my personal definition will continue to grow and change as I get older.

 What does being outspoken mean to me? It literally means everything that I define myself as. To be outspoken is to be honest with how you feel, empathetic with other people’s views and beliefs, self-aware of your own emotions and insightful of what you are being outspoken about.

 Being outspoken does carry a negative feel because it often implies that someone is expressing views that are unpopular, they are blunt and hurtful. However, as an outspoken person, I understand that this is not always the case. Yes, some outspoken people can be these things but that’s because they haven’t learnt how to use that trait in a positive way. There is a way to be outspoken without being rude or hurtful but really, it’s all about wording. It is a learning curve but being outspoken can be a very beautiful thing. I have not always been outspoken, but I got to a point in my life where holding things in was damaging my spirit and mentality, so I needed to change that.

 I choose to be outspoken because I refuse to be silenced. I choose to be outspoken because I believe I have a voice that needs to be heard. I choose to be outspoken because I want all of my relationships with loved ones and anyone that I interact with to always be open and honest.

 I LOVE being a black female because we are beautiful and there is no one else who has strength like us.

 Being an outspoken black female can often have people judging me as the ‘angry black women’ and although I wish this stereotype would disappear, I do not let it affect my character anymore. This stereotype is more about of people’s insecurities with a strong black woman having the confidence to speak up on what they believe. Do not let stereotypes stop you from being your true self, do not settle for that stereotype. Black women deserve the world because we are the backbone in society.

‘A strong woman is the lifeline of her family. She carries within her the power to endure pain and the courage to sacrifice. She has the power to create and nurture life. She is indeed the epitome of love and sacrifice.’ – Unknown