Taraji P. Henson found her “life’s purpose” in talking about her “mental health”
The 49-year-old actress has been honest about her own battle with depression and anxiety for several years, and in 2018 she set up the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation - which aims to provide resources to those struggling with mental health - in honour of her father, who had suffered with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) prior to his 2006 passing
24 February 2020
And now, the ‘Empire’ star has said she believes helping other people tackle their issues head on is her “purpose” in life.
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She explained to the March/April 2020 issue of ESSENCE magazine: “I feel like I found my life’s purpose, talking about mental health. I was trying to find it through acting, but then people get caught up in the celebrity. This is real, this is straight to the chase. This is me.”
Taraji also wants to help women, especially black women, come to terms with the ageing process, because she knows it can take a toll on their mental health.
When asked how she makes sure she’s always having a good time, she said: “It’s getting harder nowadays. Look at where we are. It doesn’t help my anxiety and depression. It’s a struggle. It’s like after a certain age, the rose-colored glasses come off. And this is the thing I want to really, really discuss and tackle.
“Women, I know we all are enamoured and we’re in love with how Black don’t crack, and we all love the youthfulness, and yes, I’m pushing 50 and we that b***h and all of that. Yes, that’s great, but let’s be real.
“There are things that happen to us physically and we get so caught up in the aesthetics that we really never talk about perimenopause, menopause. And how that directly affects you mentally. Depression, lows and you not knowing where this s**t is coming from. Yes, we look good, but I had to say something.”
And the actress briefly discussed her romance with Kelvin Hayden, whom she revealed she will be tying the knot with “this summer”.
She confessed: “We plan to get married this summer. He can’t wait. He’s like, ‘I want my ring.’ ”
The full interview with Taraji is available in the March/April 2020 issue of ESSENCE magazine, which hits newsstands on Tuesday (25.02.20).