Sista Afya Community Care (SACC) is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization with the mission of offering sustainable and culturally-competent mental health care and education. The organization focuses on dismantling stigmas associated with mental health care and offers holistic services to women and girls of color, including free individual therapy, wellness classes, and community workshops. The organization’s programs work in tandem to provide mental health support through an intersectional lens that is sensitive to the unique needs of girls and women of color.
Sista Afya Community Care has previously implemented three programs to address racial disparities in access to mental health care. The organization’s Thrive in Therapy program provides free weekly counseling services to Black women who would otherwise experience multiple barriers in accessing mental health care. SACC program is a topic-based workshop that includes group therapy and community healing circles focused on topics pertinent to women’s wellness. Additionally, SACC also provides a professional development program, Developing Mental Wellness Warriors, to give community members tools to respond to mental health crises. Through these programs SACC has worked to destigmatize mental health challenges and promote sensitivity to the needs of those experiencing mental health struggles.
The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will support Sista Afya Community Care Thrive in Therapy (TIT) for Teens program. This new program is an extension of Sista Afya’s TIT program for women and will offer similar services that are tailored to the unique needs of young, Black girls. SACC will partner with local girl-serving organizations to provide individual therapy to more than 25 girls, and it will also implement community wellness activities to expand the reach of its programs. The program will focus on filling a gap in mental health care for girls in Chicago’s South Shore community as well as surrounding neighborhoods, including Woodlawn, Chatham, Washington Park, Hyde Park, and Bronzeville.
The project aims to provide girls with meaningful mental health resources and the opportunity to gain a sense of community through peer support. As a long-term vision, Sista Afya Community Care hopes to create a lasting impact to change the mental health landscape in the communities it serves. By focusing on teen girls, SACC aims to break generational patterns of trauma and change social perceptions about the importance of mental health. Thrive in Therapy will teach girls they can be strong and vulnerable at the same time and that asking for help does not undermine their power. To learn more about Sista Afya, please visit the organization’s website and social media pages: