How barber shops around the country are helping to reduce mental health stigma

How barber shops around the country are helping to reduce mental health stigma
Posted on Feb 16 2021
Today.com

After his own experiences grappling with depression and anxiety, Lorenzo Lewis wanted to help Black men and boys with their mental health. Lewis felt it was especially important to address mental health among Black men because the need is great. Only 4% of therapists are Black, according to the American Psychological Association, and fewer than that are Black men. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Black people don’t always receive mental health care when it's needed — about 1 in 3 Black people receive care for their mental health. So, Lewis approached local barbers in Little Rock, Arkansas to discuss his vision for The Confess Project: an organization focused on training barbers to become mental health advocates in their communities. Lewis felt it was essential to enlist barbers in his efforts because he understood their importance to the community and believed many men would relate more to their barber than an outsider, such as an expert from a university.