Since the launch of her organization, The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, Taraji P. Henson has been very open and vocal about the importance of access to mental health resources in Black communities. Now, the Hidden Figures actress is putting words into action with her newest initiative, She Care Wellness Pods.

In partnership with Kate Spade New York, the program aims to provide more than 25,000 Black and Brown women with expertly crafted mental health and wellness options on HBCU campuses across the nation. The first rollout will begin at Alabama State University.

"Research shows that 84.4% of Black women are the sole bread winners in the household, on top of the myriad of disparities and social injustices that we take on. We're more likely to be depressed," Henson says. "We prepare these young ladies to be smart, and to earn their degrees—but do we really prepare them for the world ahead. This is a way to prepare and protect their mental wellness while they are still in school."

Now, being in a position to be able to use her platform to do something like this, Henson shares that it was just time to put this play into motion. According to additional studies, 60% of students that drop out of college do so because of mental health issues, and 50% of that population didn't have access to mental resources. As far as overcoming the stigmas related to therapy in Black communities, Henson says the fact the pods are even on the campuses will get the conversations started.

"Each one, teach one. Someone goes, they get enlightened, and they tell their friend," says Henson. "You see a friend suffering, and you now have a place to take them. It will be right there for them to access without issue."

Rendering of the exterior of a She Care Wellness Pod. Image: courtesy of The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation.

The She Care Wellness Pods will offer a range of programming: meditation, yoga, dance therapy, in-person and virtual therapy and more—all lead by certified professionals. While this program will target Black women on HBCU campuses, the Empire star emphasizes that there are definitely plans to roll out He Care Wellness Pods and other offerings in the future.

She also shares that it wouldn't be possible without the help of Kate Spade New York, with whom the actress has had a long-standing relationship with. This was simply the perfect marriage, especially with the brand's commitment to mental health as well.

"We have been championing women’s empowerment and mental health for over a decade. We are a brand that believes positive mental health is a fundamental human right for all and foundational to long term empowerment for women and girls, "Liz Fraser, Chief Executive Officer & Brand President of Kate Spade New York, shares. "In our 30th year, we are increasing our commitment to mental health, partnering to create new and innovative solutions to how and where women and girls can access mental health support, and doing so with mission-aligned partners.  Women’s mental health has long been under-funded, under-resourced and under-acknowledged for the vital role it plays in empowerment journeys of women and girls."