R&B heartthrob and Hollywood actor Tyrese is the latest to open his arms in support of Kanye West and his recent mental health battle.
But attached to his token of encouragement is a message for the entire Black community and the way that it has handled the news of West’s hospitalization and mental health.
In a lengthy Instagram post that Tyrese posted Wednesday (Dec. 7), he explains that the Black community needs to take mental health and self-care a little more seriously than what it has been.
The photo he uses is a throwback one of Kanye West and his late mother, Donda West, which is headed with a sentimental message about Yeezy’s downward spiral since her death and other traumatic life experiences weighing on him.
“Black people have been suffering with deep rooted real pride and ego when it comes to seeking help,” the “Sweet Lady” singer begins. “We laugh at people for going to see therapist, we say ‘If you scared go to church. We look down on people who seek help, who are suffering from mental health and depression, or drugs and alcoholic abuse, or even gambling. But the truth is most of us are f**ked up and need help for real.”
He goes on to elaborate on how his experience of being raised in the projects had caused him some mental damage, and when he realized so, he sought treatment on his own. The Fast and Furious actor is a native of Los Angeles’s Watts projects, home to other industry notables such as Top Dawg Entertainment's Jay Rock.
He mentions that he addressed the challenges he faced from witnessing horrific ocurrances in his original book, How to Get Out of Your Own Way.
“They call Kanye crazy and a genius in the same breath but in the end he's a son, a father and a husband whether he's doing things you agree with or not,” Tyrese says. “He's still a man who needs help just like most of us.”
Tyrese encourages everyone struggling with mental health to seek the help they need instead of castigating treatment before dangerous mental detriment sets in — such as suicide.
Read Tyrese’s open letter below.
Black people have been suffering with deep rooted real pride and EGO when it comes to seeking help...... We laugh at people for going to see therapist, we say IF YOU SCARED GO TO CHURCH"... We look down on people who seek help who are suffering from mental health and depression, or drugs and alcoholic abuse or even gambling but the truth is most of us are fucked up and need help for real - Growing up in the hood I witnessed ALL LEVELS of mental, emotional and physiological abuse - I've witnessed murders, rapes, drugs drive by shootings and drug and alcohol abuse and physical abuse in my home....... I wrote about this in great detail in my first book........ it's hard to be normal when you're literally on fire in your mind and spirit....... all the money and fame in the world can't stop you from thinking those thoughts - They call Kanye crazy and a genius in the same breath but in the end he's a son, a father and a husband rather he's doing things you agree with or not he's still a man who needs help just like most of us....... Y'all think talking your momma or cousin and smokin a blunt or popin a molly is enough nope....... I would encourage you to seek help I have been for many years and my life is so amazing because of it /. Growing UP in environments and in homes where you see and are exposed to certain things.... you can easily RELOCATE but the effects are still there and won't go away until you seek professional help - sending love, prayers and all HEART to everyone who can read this if you're suffering please I'm begging of you SEEK HELP suicide is real and going crazy is real...... if you don't get real help....... #VoltronChairman -Tyrese
(Photos from left: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for DIFF, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Harper's Bazaar)