In her work as a therapist, Rachel Johnson ’17, G’19 knew she was making a difference in the lives of her patients.

But she also realized that her work wasn’t impacting blacks, an often overlooked part of the population when it comes to mental health and overall health. Traditional mental health and wellness services have not always been easily (or affordably) available to those seeking help.

Rachel Johnson headshot woman with folded arms and smiling

Johnson founded Half Hood Half Holistic in Syracuse. This is a holistic wellness business that allows black individuals, couples and families to have a space to heal and work on their mental, physical and spiritual health.

Johnson founded Half Hood Half Holistic out of a desire to make a difference in Syracuse, his adopted home, and a desire to help Black people address their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. was established. Wellness businesses curate and center Black individuals, families, and couples to provide healing spaces and enable them to engage in holistic or holistic personal therapy.

“The overall goal of Half Hood Half Holistic is to create what we call accessible healing. It is a low-cost or free service that is community-relevant and available in a variety of ways and It’s a platform-accessible service, and really this grew out of the fact that therapy itself didn’t seem very accessible in my work as a therapist with black and brown people. and in my own practice I was not serving a community to which I felt very close. I wanted to create something that would do, and Half Food Half Holistic is the culmination of that dream and vision, and it definitely keeps me busy,” says Johnson.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Johnson received a BA in Child and Family Studies and Social Work and an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy and Social Work from Folk College, and attended Syracuse University on a Fulride Scholarship. A program called Say Yes to Education.

Author of The Self-Love Workbook for Black Women, Johnson explores what holistic health means to her, what healing means to black people, and the stigma and prejudices associated with seeking mental health services. Learn why debunking stereotypes is important. She also shares how holistic healing can be made accessible to all who seek it and the important role holistic healing plays in helping communities heal from racial harm. doing.

Note: This conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Check out episode 121 of the ‘Cuse Conversations’ podcast featuring Rachel Johnson ’17, G’19.transcript [PDF] is also available.

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