AAMWA’s “REAL MEN, REAL TALK” Tackles Mental Health in Detroit’s Black Community

The African American Male Wellness Agency (AAMWA) has successfully held its event, “REAL MEN, REAL TALK: Focusing on Black Men’s Mental Wellness.” This significant gathering, aimed at addressing and improving mental health among Black men, took place on Thursday, June 27th, 2024, at the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center in Detroit.

“REAL MEN, REAL TALK” united a diverse assembly of community leaders, mental health professionals, and Black men from various walks of life. The primary goal was to dismantle the stigma surrounding mental health issues and foster open, honest conversations about mental wellness. This event sets the stage for the much-anticipated Black Men’s Wellness Day on Saturday, July 27, 2024, at 7 a.m., to be held at Perfecting Church in Detroit.

Participants shared personal experiences with mental health, creating a supportive environment that encouraged understanding and empathy. One of the key moments involved an interactive music listening session where attendees stood shoulder to shoulder, hands and eyes connected to their fellow brothers. This exercise, lasting two minutes, allowed men to experience a moment of empowerment and, for some, an uncomfortable yet enlightening vulnerability.

Another powerful session had participants use masks to express their identities and insecurities. Men were instructed to write on their masks who they believed themselves to be, while also displaying their internal insecurities. This activity aimed to uncover the hidden layers of their mental and emotional states, fostering deeper self-awareness and communal support.

John H. Gregory, the national founder of AAMWA, underscored the importance of the event, stating, “Mental health is a critical issue that affects many African American men, yet it is often overlooked or stigmatized. ‘REAL MEN, REAL TALK’ is about changing that narrative, providing support, and ensuring that no one feels alone in their mental health journey.”

The event received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with attendees expressing gratitude for the opportunity to discuss mental health in a safe and supportive environment. Kenny Hampton, President of AAMWA, remarked, “It’s time for Detroit, my hometown, to join this national conversation with Black men who are coming together to take off our masks and live their true authentic lives. This session really kicks off our next 30 days of blitz in the community. Our Saving Black Men’s Lives National Wellness Tour is coming to the city, and I can’t be more excited that we’re going to be coming here to save lives one free health screening at a time.”

By fostering open dialogue and providing valuable resources, AAMWA aims to continue its mission of promoting overall wellness among African American men. The commitment to breaking down barriers and encouraging honest discussions about mental health is a crucial step in ensuring that Black men feel supported and understood in their mental health journeys.

For more information about AAMWA and upcoming events, please visit aawellness.org.

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