Taraji P Henson is doing everything she can to de-stigmatize mental health issues in the African-American community by creating the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, in honor of her deceased father.
Over the weekend, the Empire alum announced the creation of the institution, in the midst of the Boutique of Hope charity fundraiser. The Boutique Of Hope charity raised money to bring art to the bathrooms of inner-city schools, in hopes of fighting depression, suicide, and bullying.
When someone asked Taraji about her inspiration for creating the foundation, she cited the experiences of her father. Henson claimed her father inspired her, because of his “complete and unconditional love for me,” and his willingness to fight his mental health demons.
According to Taraji, her father returned home from the Vietnam War, broken, and the federal government provided very little assistance to its veterans.
During a conversation with reporters from Variety, Henson expounded on her child’s mental health problems as well, revealing it was difficult to find someone he could relate to.
Henson claims her son found it challenging to find a person he could trust, someone “that looks like him,” someone who could easily understand what he was going through.
Taraji shared a photograph of a bush with the name of her new foundation written in gold lettering. She dedicated it to her late father in the caption.
As you may know, Hollywood entertainers have been pushing hard to bring mental health, body image issues, and substance abuse to light, arguing that society needs to change the way in which it looks at those who suffer.This all comes after the death of Mac Miller, who passed away from an overdose, the suicide of Kate Spade, and the suicide of Anthony Bourdain.