'The Work Is in the Valley': Courtney B. Vance and Dr. Robin Smith Join Forces on World Mental Health Day

In a world where Black people are faced with racism, injustice and ongoing affronts to our dignity, it is as imperative that we maintain our mental health.


Actor Courtney B. Vance, who lost his father and godson to suicide, knows all too well about the importance of mental soundness. The award-winning actor says that in our respective mental health journeys, we will no doubt, face peeks and valleys. “Martin Luther King Jr. said when he was on top of the mountain, ‘The valley calls me.’ The work is in the valley.”

This year World Mental Health Day is on Oct. 10. Vance and psychologist Dr. Robin Smith (known as Dr. Robin) partnered with the National Alliance of Mental Illness to join the national conversation around mental health.


In their interview with The Root, the duo shared a bit of their “highs,” and “lows” but most importantly, how they got back to center.

“Courtney, I wanted to make sure that this myopic view of mental health—whether it’s Mental Health Week or World Mental Health Day—we want everyone to begin to think about their mental health every day,” Dr. Robin said.

See a snippet from their conversation above.

Afro-Cuban woman that was born and branded in New York. When León isn't actually creating cool videos, she's thinking of cool videos that she can create.


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