Black men have a hard time discussing mental health. The stigma needs to be lifted.
Mental health is a topic that has often been avoided in the Black community, particularly among men. There is a widespread belief that seeking help for mental health struggles is a sign of weakness, leading many Black men to suffer in silence rather than seeking the support they need. However, a recent stream featuring a group of Black men discussing mental health has brought attention to the challenges that Black men face when it comes to seeking help for their mental health and the importance of destigmatizing the topic in the Black community.
One of the participants in the stream, Maurice Cherry, spoke about the pressure that Black men often feel to be strong and to not show vulnerability. “There’s so much pressure on Black men to be strong and not show emotion,” he said. “It’s seen as a weakness, but it’s not. It’s just human.” This pressure to conform to traditional masculine gender roles can make it difficult for men of color to speak openly about their mental health struggles and seek help when needed.
Another participant, Tariq Nasheed, emphasized the importance of finding ways to manage stress and anxiety and engaging in therapy when necessary. “We have to find ways to deal with stress and anxiety,” he said. “It’s important to take care of ourselves, to seek help when we need it, and to not let pride get in the way.” Seeking help for mental health issues should be seen as a sign of strength and self-care rather than one of weakness.
The tWitch stream was organized by the non-profit organization Black Men Heal, which aims to promote mental health awareness among Black men and provide support for those struggling with psychological distress. The organization was founded by Jermaine Dean, who has personally experienced the stigma surrounding mental health in the Black community. “There’s still so much stigma around mental health in the Black community,” Dean said. “We need to change the narrative and let Black men know that it’s okay to seek help, and that it’s actually a sign of strength to do so.”
Black Men Heal offers a range of resources and support for Black men struggling with mental health issues, including therapy, coaching, and support groups. The organization also works to raise awareness of the importance of mental health in the Black community through events, social media campaigns, and partnerships with other organizations.
In addition to the work of Black Men Heal, there have been a number of initiatives aimed at promoting mental health awareness among Black men in recent years. One such campaign is the #IAmNotMyPain campaign, which encourages Black men to share their stories of mental health struggles in an effort to break the taboo surrounding the topic. By sharing their experiences, Black men can help to destigmatize mental health and encourage others to seek the support they need.
The tWitch stream featuring Black men discussing mental health is just one example of the efforts being made to destigmatize the topic in the Black community. It highlights the challenges that Black men face when it comes to seeking help for their mental health and the importance of breaking the taboo surrounding the topic. By promoting awareness and encouraging men of color to speak up when needed, organizations like Black Men Heal are working to improve the mental health of Black men and create a more supportive and understanding community.