The pandemic has left many people searching for support when it comes to mental health and there’s a D.C. therapist who’s on a mission to help.
Dr. LaNail Plummer is the CEO of Onyx Therapy Group, a mental health company in the district.
She started her office in 2019 in order to create a space of healing for the Black and LGBTQ communities. They’ve grown to nine offices and saw a dramatic increase in need for services during the pandemic — adding hundreds of new clients during a time when racial tension and social justice also made their way to the forefront.
“They’re experiencing levels of grief that they’ve never experienced before and grief not just being death,” she said. “Grief also means a loss of routine, grief is any loss. For so long in both sets of communities, we’ve been told to suppress, we’ve been told to repress.”
She says in order to facilitate a safe space, she’s focused on providing an atmosphere where those in need of services are able to relate to their therapist.
“After we’ve been traumatized or we’ve been hurt, we don’t want to then have to educate somebody on what it means to experience a microaggression,” she added.
As a Black woman who’s a part of the LGBTQ community, her process also highlights the importance of focusing on her personal mental and physical health while fostering her career and growing the careers of therapists looking to join her team.
“There’s not a choice between self and career, both can happen,” she said. “We just have to be creative and figure out how we can do that. Therapy really helps. If we can continue to keep mental health on the forefront, then it will make us a better country.”
If you or someone you know is in need of mental health services, contact Onyx Therapy Group.