REBUILD: A Help Me Find a Therapist Program

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

Darkness Rising Project Inc
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Connecting over 5,000 formerly incarcerated and criminalized people of color to therapists of color.


raised by 1,593 people

$325,000 goal

10 months left

Help us connect over 5,000 formerly incarcerated and criminalized people of color to therapists of color. 

Prisons and jails disproportionately incarcerate people with histories of mental health issues. Every year, about 640,000 people return to our communities after serving time in federal or state prisons and 11.4 million people cycle through local jails. Over the past few years, Mariame Kaba of Project NIA, along with other anti-criminalization organizers, have fielded a number of requests for culturally competent, community-based counseling and therapeutic resources for formerly incarcerated and criminalized people. Unfortunately, such resources are lacking. It is important that services provided to incarcerated individuals specifically target their individual needs. 

In Spring 2021, Mariame connected with the Help Me Find A Therapist (HMFAT) program to discuss the possibility of a pilot project. Launched in 2020, the Help Me Find A Therapist program connects people with Black therapists by searching for mental health professionals. The program is currently on hiatus in order to develop an automated website that will more efficiently match individuals with Black therapists.

In 2022, the Help Me Find A Therapist service will launch REBUILD, a one year pilot project focused on formerly incarcerated individuals looking for a therapist of color. At least four part-time paid staff (with priority consideration given to formerly incarcerated people and people who have lived experiences with mental health challenges) will assist in matching formerly incarcerated (and justice-involved) individuals with therapists of color. This assistance includes finding and vetting therapists, setting up appointments, and possibly facilitating the payment process. In addition, therapy costs for at least 20 individuals will be covered by the Help Me Find a Therapist program. With more funds raised, REBUILD can subsidize more people’s therapy costs.

Support provided by Mariame Kaba ($10,000) & BEAM ($15,000). 


The Help Me Find A Therapist program started in the summer of 2020 to meet an urgent need to support Black people accessing the mental health system for the first time due to the dual traumas of the pandemic and police brutality. This program, initially started by Depressed While Black, included a Google Form where people submit their criteria for a Black therapist. Users enter confidential information such as insurance, the type of therapy they are looking for, and the mental health condition they want the therapist to address. 

Imadé Nibokun, Depressed While Black's founder, manually searched therapist databases to find Black therapist options that matched a person’s criteria. The demand for HMFAT was so overwhelming that the program had to be temporarily shut down to catch up with requests. 

Darkness RISING, a Black mental health nonprofit which provides direct resources to the Black community, was connecting Black people to therapists via a similar process. Executive Director Carlita Victoria & Imadé partnered to continue the program. 

Imadé and Carlita formed a partnership to re-launch the Help Me Find A Therapist program during Black History Month on February 1, 2021. Both recruited volunteers to build capacity for the Help Me Find A Therapist program. Since its relaunch, over 200 people received Black therapist options based on their criteria.  


REBUILD: A Help Me Find a Therapist pilot project plans to recruit and hire four part-time employees with lived mental health challenges to launch the pilot. These employees will be formerly incarcerated / justice involved individuals. 


Step Up Durham's Employer Partner Program, which refers justice-involved individuals to employment opportunities, will be engaged to help staff REBUILD. BEAM, a Black-led mental health nonprofit, will provide HR support, set up staff roles, and assist with creating a thorough hiring process. Employees will be compensated $20/hour in a part-time position of up to 20 hours per week. We would also like to provide a stipend to help employees access health care if we are able to raise enough money. 


The website will be developed by Ann Daramola and Black Pencil Agency. The process will take 12 weeks for a cost of $14,000. Thanks to generous donors, the website has been funded. The REBUILD app will cost $14,000. 


REBUILD: A Help Me Find a Therapist program will directly impact formerly incarcerated and/or justice-involved individuals by providing culturally competent therapists for at least 5000 BIPOC formerly incarcerated people, providing free therapy for at least 20 BIPOC, formerly incarcerated people and hiring four formerly incarcerated and/or justice-involved individuals as part-time employees.


Checks should be made payable to:

Darkness Rising Project 

Checks should be mailed to: 

P.O. Box 33603

Raleigh, NC 27636

All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 

This fundraiser supports

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Darkness Rising Project Inc

Organized By Carlita Ector

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