This month, we are highlighting Black mental health and wellness professionals to shed light on Black history and current issues facing the Black community. We firmly believe that preventing mental health issues from turning into larger problems is a profoundly healing act. Finding a compassionate, relatable mental health or wellness expert can be part of an individual’s healing journey.
In this blog, we’ll hear from Serita Valmond, Chronic Pain Coach, CHC, CLC, a “wounded healer” who turned her personal experience with chronic pain—what she calls her “unfortunate/fortunate journey”—into a career helping others face and transform their pain, and ultimately to validate their experiences. “If you are ready to take your life back and start on the road to recovering from chronic pain please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I see you. I hear you. I am ready to help you.”
Acknowledging pain and seeking help is especially critical for people of color, she writes. “There is a belief that a person of color, especially those that are from the black community have less pain receptors along with thicker skin and therefore cannot feel pain. This of course is absurd!”
Serita Valmond’s Unfortunate/Fortunate Journey
As Valmond explains it, a drunken driver who rear-ended her on July 4, 2016, completely changed the trajectory of her life.
“I remember the day that I looked at the 15 different prescriptions staring me in the face,” Valmond writes of how she coped with her pain. “My stomach churned at the thought of swallowing them. How did it come to this? How was I so easily replaced by a hollow shell of who I used to be?”
Although a doctor had prescribed her pain medications, she says they did nothing to help her deal with her changed circumstances.
“The medications, all 15 of them, still were unable to touch the pain that had become my daily existence. What other options were there? Death. I started to think that this was the only way out of the misery that had become my life.”
But she realized there was more to her life than her undeniable pain. It was her undeniable love for her children.
“I had three beautiful children who I needed to live for,” Valmond writes. “I needed results, not another prescription for a medication that would either put me to sleep or turn me into more of a zombie than I already was. This yearning to live for my children and to take my health into my own hands is what caused me to start on the road to health, coaching, and advocacy. Within a four month time frame I was able to get off all the medications that I was on, plus lose the 50 pounds I gained while on those medications.”
“I See You. I Hear You. I Am Ready to Help You.”
Valmond was able to get off of medications by adding in healing therapies, which also inspired her to help others. “Healing my own chronic pain with changed nutrition, added movement, and natural alternatives, inspired me to help and advocate for others who are on this same journey,” Valmond writes. “I wanted others to be seen, heard, and validated that they are not crazy. Their pain is real. There is hope.”
She also had to contend with long-standing myths about Black people and pain. (To learn more about this historic disregard of African Americans within the medical community, check out Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington.)
“I want them to be aware of other options that were available to them outside of just medication,” Valmond writes. “Especially for the BIPOC community. There is a belief that a person of color, especially those that are from the Black community, have less pain receptors, along with thicker skin, and therefore cannot feel pain. This of course is absurd! And this false narrative goes all way back to slavery. However, because of this belief, amongst many others, they go untreated and feel isolated and hopeless.”
Valmond has blended her personal and professional experiences to help her achieve her mission of inspiring and healing BIPOC individuals.
“I’ve spent the last two years building on my personal experiences and furthering my education. I am now a Master Certified Health and Life Coach for Chronic Pain. It is not only my mission but also my passion to educate and inspire others to take their health back into their own hands and heal, especially in the BIPOC community,” she writes.
Her practice involves the whole person, is non-judgmental and compassionate.
“I start with a thorough consultation on where you are currently on your journey, where you want to be, and we will find out what’s stopping you from getting there. I understand what it feels like to be judged harshly or not understood when you are in pain. Therefore, I make sure I create a judgment-free and confidential space so they can give voice to their emotions and chronic pain. I let them know that they are not alone and I will walk with them on their journey as this can be a major lifestyle change. If you are ready to take your life back and start on the road to recovering from chronic pain please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I see you. I hear you. I am ready to help you.”
Get in Touch with Serita Valmond
Certified Health/Life Coach For Chronic Pain
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/serita-valmond-1a75641a8