First Name: Victoria
Last Name: Smith
Company: Taking Back the Image
Your HEALTH is Your WEALTH, if that's so then it's my job to make sure we are keeping that same energy when it comes to Mental Health in Black America. We are in a society where it is more acceptable to simply conform to the social norm than to fight for the right to be different and equal. African American adults are 20% more likely to experience mental health issues than the rest of the population. Only 25% of the African American population seek treatment for psychological issues, compared to 40% of the Caucasian population. Having gone through problematic times and ignoring her own emotional health, Victoria understands the importance of mental health accountability.
Following the passing of her beloved father to Multiple Sclerosis at the young age of 23 and deciding not to have a child in the midst of a troubled relationship, Victoria suffered mental instability and battled moderate depression. Given society’s lack of acceptance of mental health issues, she was afraid to own and proclaim her truth. It was not until the age of 29 that enough was enough! Victoria put her bachelor’s degree in psychology to use and began to research what she had been feeling. She sought help in the form of personal counseling which led to her desire to help others in similar situations.
Living in the city of Philadelphia she understood that mental and emotional health is a topic that is not openly discussed without judgment. In 2018, Victoria began using uplifting quotes and posts on social media to indirectly speak to people about these issues.
Victoria was fueled by the need to show up for people in a way that nobody showed up for her when she needed help. After Victoria realized that there are communities of people who needed her support and information, she began writing her first book. In April 2020, she released the self-published, self-help book entitled “Taking Back the Image: An Image Through Clear Glass.”
Victoria now strives to do much more in order to ensure no one feels alone in their psychological journey. Taking Back the Image is a movement for self-awareness and self-care. It is never too late to rediscover and rebuild. Now offering life coaching and mentorship, Victoria is working to cover as many corners of this social issue as she can. It is her philosophy that we cannot give of ourselves to others until we are whole and healed. Mental health needs to be supported and not shamed! We need to take back our image.
Tell Us Why You Got Started: I felt the need to spread my knowledge regarding mental health to the uninformed. I knew my story would help others to flourish and find their center as well.
How Has 2020 Changed Your Business? 2020 has given me the time and focus to expand my mental health organization. I have grown my organization from a social media platform to self-help books and an interactive podcast.
Being an entrepreneur is ... freeing! I am able to work my business when and how I want. I also work a 9-5 with the IRS. I find myself hurrying to get off to put my energy into what I am building with passion.