Only “Extra’s” special correspondent Megyn Ryte was backstage with Taraji P. Henson after she was recognized by Variety Power of Women for her work fighting the stigma of mental illness in the black community.
Taraji created her foundation to help those struggling with mental health, naming it the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation after her father. She said, “I think people kinda trust me, they look up to me, so by me coming forward with my own story, coming forward about my own depression and anxiety, I think people have a misconception about celebrities is we have it all together, but we have our own real lives to go to when the cameras are off.”
“I think by making it more tangible and putting a face to it is saying it's okay to not be okay. I’m starting to see more dialogue… and that’s all I ever wanted,” Taraji added.
As for how she helps put her own mind at ease, she shared, “There are a couple of apps that I use, there’s one called Mindfulness and it kinda coaches you through meditation I think people think meditation is you got to sit and go 'om.' No, meditation is sometimes letting your thoughts run through until it's quiet and the only way you have to do that is breathe… it’s a practice, you have to practice it, but it’s healthy.”
Taraji also shared some advice to those with a dream, saying, “If you have a dream... you have to choose your side. Is it fear or fate? they don’t co-exist. If you have a dream, go for it — you only have one life and know you will inspire somebody.”