Lifestyle Health Charlamagne tha God Is Ending Stigmas Around Black Mental Health — Starting with Himself: 'My Life's Work' "We want to provide free therapy services to more than 10 million Black Americans over the next five years," Charlamagne tha God says in Verywell Mind's The Equity Issue digital cover story By JD Knapp JD Knapp Instagram Twitter Senior Weekend Editor, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 15, 2022 08:30 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Charlamagne tha God is getting up close and personal. The Radio Hall of Fame-inducted Breakfast Club co-host is front and center on Verywell Mind's March digital cover, celebrating Black health and wellness. For their first issue of 2022 — and second ever — Charlamagne, 43, opens up to Verywell about his passion for mental health awareness and its role in the Black community. He also discusses everything from generational trauma and social stigmas to therapy and self-care. "[It's] just something I decided to make my life's work. We want to provide free therapy services to more than 10 million Black Americans over the next five years. And, we plan to do that through raising money," he explains. "We want to train the next generation of psychiatrists [and] therapists, we want to be able to provide them with scholarships and money to where they can get their certification, especially Black and brown people." Chlöe Tells Charlamagne tha God She's Learned 'It's OK to Put Myself First' Charlamagne — who has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression — also understands how important it is for him to use his platform to share his own story. Jai Lennard "You can't heal what you don't reveal," he says. "I would be very disingenuous if I had conversations with individuals about things that they were going through, and I wasn't expressing things that I went through." "Even when I first got diagnosed with anxiety, I didn't know what to do with it," the star of Tha God's Honest Truth adds. "As you get older and you start doing the work on yourself, and you start peeling back the layers of your life and realizing, like all of these different things that you grew up on, it's like, yeah, it was right there, under your nose the whole time ... I'm taking people on that journey with me." Luckily for him and his listeners, Charlamagne's journey now includes therapy, which he didn't start until age 37, thanks in part to Pete Davidson. Jai Lennard "[Pete] would just openly talk about it around me. He would tell me the benefits of therapy and say things like, 'You need to go do work on yourself.' And I'm like, 'What does that mean? I'm in the gym all the time. I'm working on myself every day.' But no, [he] meant mentally go do the work on yourself emotionally," he recounts. "You think you're going for like one or two things like anxiety and depression, but then you start peeling back all these layers of your life and you start unpacking all of this unhealed trauma that you never even knew you had," Charlamagne shares on the Verywell Mind Podcast. "I went through decades of unlearning. It's like everything I thought I knew was a lie, everything that had gotten me to a certain point didn't." Jai Lennard Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. The Charleston-born radio personality even acknowledges how his own struggles with suicidal thoughts eventually had an impact on his family, adding: "Be the adult that you needed as a child." "I've had those breakdown moments of one in particular where like my friends were calling my parents to come like talk to me. I was living in Columbia, South Carolina, at the time and my parents were in Moncks Corner and it was just like, yo, I really wanted to like do it … I don't wanna be here no more," he shares. Jai Lennard "So my pops, you know, he drove an hour-and-a-half to come, just like kick it with me and talk to me. And it was the things he told me in that moment were actually like really beneficial. What I wish he would've told me, which he didn't tell me until years later, literally years later, like 12 years later after I put out my books is that he, you know, wanted to kill himself 30 plus years ago," the Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It author reveals. Kamala Harris Defends Biden Administration in Charlamagne tha God Interview Today, Charlamagne is intent on breaking the cycle of past generations' mental health struggles through his advocacy for therapy, meditation, and even tree hugging — "Literally, outside, hugging a tree." "I'm really gonna commit my life to just helping and helping people heal, especially Black people," he says. Jai Lennard "Life does not come with any instruction manual. And all of us are just figuring this out on the fly. And if you're actually doing life right, then there's always new things to learn," adds Charlamagne. Verywell Mind's March digital issue is out now. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.