BLCK & WELL puts wellness first

BLCK & WELL founders Kyla Sanford, Nia Mitchell and Jaela Stephens. Photo courtesy: Sanford

Established in August, BLCK & WELL is an online platform that empowers students to experience mental wellness. The organization focuses on creating a community that serves and nurtures one another through moments of growth, reflection and daily routines. Students can access lifestyle advice through informational graphic posts on the Instagram page @blckandwell.

BLCK & WELL was inspired by the experiences of its cofounders, FAMU seniors Nia Mitchell, Kyla Sanford and Jaela Stephens. As young Black women, the students tapped into their first-hand knowledge of struggling to find healing and comfort while navigating life.

“I live by the principle that health is wealth,” Stephens said. “That’s why I wanted to help others cultivate their mental wellness and self-care routines.”

The challenges experienced by the founders inspired them to think about ways to help other Black and Brown individuals empower themselves and discover their own forms of wellness. Named for the historical significance of the well as a center for community, the health platform represents a safe space to grow, thrive and heal.

“My goal through BLCK & WELL is to inspire and help people with my words to remind them of all the wonderful things about life when they need it most,” Sanford said.

Crafting their content to fit their slogan — be good, feel good, live good — BLCK & WELL aims to cover all aspects of health care. The motto urges students to embrace enjoyable conditions, pleasurable mental reactions and high-quality lifestyles.

“I think it’s important to have a safe space to prioritize mental wellness and help advocate for students on their wellness journeys,” Mitchell said.

The platform’s most recent initiative was a series called Wellness University that offered students back-to-school mental health tips in the form of school lessons. The first lesson focused on establishing healthy habits for the school year, like using a planner and eating well.

“I know firsthand how hard it can be to eat your fruits, skip the snacks and not stop at the drive-thru,” Sanford said. “From my personal experience, meal prepping will save your life. It’s easier said than done, but I always tell people to give it a try.”

Other topics addressed in the Wellness University series include time management and establishing healthy boundaries. Stephens, who serves as the lead strategist, hopes the social media posts foster a community centered on love, growth and healing. The platforms serve as a meeting place for those on their wellness journeys.

“My goal is really to just leave a positive impact,” Stephens said. “I want to let people know we see you, we hear you, we are you.”