Florida A&M University faculty member Fran Close, Ph.D., will lead a session to equip barbers, coaches, and mentors with tools to help Black men cope with mental health issues.
The Black Men’s Mental Health Training for Black barbers, coaches, trainers, and mentors who engage with Black men and boys will be held 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 11 in the FAMU Grand Ballroom, 1925 S. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. The session is being hosted by the Mental Health Council of the Big Bend (MHCBB) in collaboration with the City of Tallahassee, Black Men’s Health and the FAMU Student Health Services.
“We want barbers, coaches, mentors and advisers to have tools they can use when they are interacting with Black men and boys in our community,” said Close, a professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education in the College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health.
The training is designed to equip those in trusted positions who, unofficially, serve as counselors and therapists for Black men and youth. Licensed mental health professionals will provide suicide prevention instruction and certification as well as give culturally relevant presentations on mental wellness tailored for black men.
“We need to make sure our Black men have the resources they need and feel comfortable about asking for help,” Close said. Many Black men see themselves as protectors and overlook their own self-care, she added. “A lot of our Black men don’t think about taking care of themselves both physically and mentally.”
In addition to mental health training, FAMU Student Health Services staff will discuss vaccine advocacy and hesitancy. City of Tallahassee staff will share information on their TEAM Unit, Individual Mental Health Assistance and Neighborhood Resilience Hubs.
MHCBB is a volunteer entity comprised of mental health subject matter experts, and related stakeholders, dedicated specifically to employing a data-driven approach to assessing mental health services in Florida’s Big Bend region and recommending strategies for improvement. The MHCBB is leading this charge and anticipates approximately 50 participants. The free training will include complimentary lunch and a $25 gift card for each attendee. There will also be a raffle for a new smart TV.
For more information about this event, contact Fran Close, Ph.D., at 850-545-5808, or [email protected].