Social media has quickly become an everyday part of the lives of many — whether it’s to catch up on news, earn some money or connect friends and family — many have made social media an integral part of their lives

Dr. Jessica Clemons, a psychiatrist, has used social media to spread knowledge and awareness to her followers on topics such as mental health, mental illness and how to #BeWell. 

Dr. Clemons, an Alabama-native and Cornell graduate, intended on becoming a surgeon until she saw the impact that depression can have on someone’s life, “I noticed if someone is suffering mentally, it becomes difficult, and sometimes impossible, to take care of themselves,” Clemons shared with Essence. 

Dr. Clemons is also trying to dismantle the stigma behind mental health and mental illness by normalizing mental health, especially within the black community. She understands the barriers that stop people from seeking medical attention for cases of anxiety and depression, and it sparked the idea of creating a safe, online space where she “breaks down topics surrounding mental wellness and answer questions.”

Every Saturday or Sunday at 12 p.m. EST, Dr. Clemons joins Instagram Live to host Ask Dr. Jess — a segment in which she’s able to speak with users in real time and to connect with them on a more personal level about all things mental wellness:

"Currently, every Saturday or Sunday at 12 p.m. EST, I host ‘Ask Dr. Jess’ on Instagram Live where I breakdown topics surrounding mental wellness and answer questions. I’ve [also] learned my work has helped many people seek help, feel comfortable with accepting help, and passing along vital information to those they care about"

Through her work, she’s slowly dismantling the stigma behind conversations surrounding mental health and mental illnesses. She will not allow the lack of access to continue to stop people of color from addressing and learning to cope and handle depression and anxiety. 

As someone who has seen the effects of untreated anxiety and depression, Dr. Clemons suggests everyone should see a mental health professional at some point in their lives:

“We know that undergoing therapy can treat anxiety and depression but it also gives you a safe, non-judgmental space to work out issues. Think of therapy as a way to master yourself”.

Dr. Clemons recommends prioritizing all aspects of your health by “practicing self-care, taking ownership of emotional issues that negatively affect your life and shifting the mindsets from a passive way of engaging in life to an active one. 

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