NAMI of Better Toledo discussion board for Black and brown males

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Nami says black and brown men are less likely to seek help when it comes to their mental health.

TOLEDO, Ohio – This week black and brown men are the target of a forum to help them out with their mental health.

That National Alliance for Mental Illness wants you to know that when you are going through a difficult time, you are not alone.

“Before I became a therapist, there wasn’t really any talk about mental health. I grew up in the North End, City of Toledo,” said Cecil Holston II, therapist at RFS Behavioral Health.

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Holston works to help people live better lives and understand the importance of their mental health.

“Our goal is to educate not only our men, but also the parents or caregivers who look after our African American men,” said Sonya Quinn, the community outreach coordinator at NAMI Greater Toledo Area.

A study by the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health found that black adults in the United States were more likely to report sadness, hopelessness, and a feeling that everything is an effort.

Even so, white adults are less likely than white adults to receive adequate care.

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“The environments we grow up in … I think our parents tell us to keep everything inside,” said Holston. “‘Don’t leave anything out of this house.’ I think our family members tell us, ‘Don’t tell anyone what happened.’ “

There is also stigma and embarrassment behind mental health problems.

“We have found that they are the ones who suffer the most,” said Quinn. “Especially with everything that happened in 2020. We’re coming out of a pandemic. The shootings that are going on everywhere.”

US says it’s the perfect time to join the conversation and see how you can help yourself.

“So I think therapy helps them understand that,” said Holston. “You can set your own goal. It only allows you to sit in front of you with an unbiased, non-judgmental person who is not a friend. This is not a family member. And somehow give you some advice. “

Holston and Quinn work together on US‘s forum, titled Our African American Men: A Journey to Mental Wellness and Wellbeing.

It’s free and open to everyone on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

You can either call extension 419-243-1119. 207 or email Quinn at [email protected] to sign up for the forum.