Transforming Beauty into Mental Health Advocacy
“Strong Black Woman Syndrome” (SBWS), is a belief that AA women should be able to handle any problem or issue, put the needs of others before their own, and have to be strong at all times. Black women are less likely to seek mental health therapy or take medication than their White counterparts due to stigma in the Black community.
TCP ATL Beauty Coalition
Since 2016, The Confess Project ATL (TCP ATL) has trained 1,800+ Barbers to be mental health advocates to facilitate needed support to their mostly male clientele. In turn, TCP ATL barber shops across the nation have become safe spaces that are both mental health-friendly and encouraging—ultimately providing an opportunity for the stigma surrounding Mental Health to diminish. We are now seeing massive success implementing TCP ATL’s Beauty Coalition!
“Black women are being transformed”
With the implementation of TCP ATL’s Beauty Coalition, our aim is to expand and adapt the TCPA barber shop training model to also train Black beauticians and similarly create safe spaces in beauty salons for open dialogue about Mental Health and subsequent mental wellness and healing for Black women and girls.
According to National Health Interview Survey, 2018:
Black women are 1.8 times more likely than Black men to report sadness
Black women are 2.4 times more likely than Black men to report feeling hopeless
Men of color wanting to receive professional services for their emotional and mental health.
Important Data We Consider.
Heres why culturally appropriate approaches – are necessary to reach Black women where they are, raise their mental health awareness, decrease the stigma, and reduce the disparities in within the Black Community:
Women of all races and ethnicities experience depression at rates twice that of men, but compared to their White counterparts, Black women are only half as likely to seek help.
Black women are less likely to seek mental health therapy or take medication than their White counterparts due to stigma in the Black community.
Only one in three African Americans who need mental health care services receives it. Our plaguing issues of poverty, mass incarceration, and financial hardships have divided the black family and increased the issues of mental health conditions and complications.
Adult African Americans living below poverty are three times more likely to report serious psychological distress than those living above poverty threshold.
Research consistently shows that decedents of slavery disproportionately suffer more adverse health outcomes than their racial/ethnic counterparts due to greater exposure to negative sociohistorical factors such as health inequity, structural racism, violence, incarceration, and un-/under-employment.
The data shows that the program was effective in providing education that increased the program participants understanding and awareness of mental health. Currently, a “Trainee to Trainer” format is being developed that will allow past participants and volunteers to receive training and aide in the administering of the program. Additional future goals identified by the program include expanding the cities in which the program is administered through the programs “Trainee to Trainer” format, building program capacity with the goal of increasing resources and services, and to perform continuous follow-ups with cities previously visited by the program.
What To Expect
What should I expect from the Beauty Coalition?
The Confess Project of America will begin providing beauty salons with their Mental Health Advocate training specifically catered towards women in the Black community. The training is not limited to only salons, The Confess Project of America offers their training to all kinds of technicians and women in the beauty industry. Not only will Beauty Coalition members become trained Mental Health Advocates at no cost, they will also receive a certificate, access to our private network, media opportunities, and on-going support through monthly coalition calls!
Why should Women in the Beauty Industry become trained Mental Health Advocates?
There is a huge lack of mental health resources available to the Black community, and The Confess Project of America is working to change that. The organization trains barbers across the U.S. to be Mental Health Advocates, so they can effectively support their clients and community.
Dating back to even before the Civil Rights Movement, Black barbershops and beauty salons have always been a safe haven for people in the Black community to come together and be themselves. To date, The Confess Project of America has trained over 1,900 barbers across the country to be Mental Health Advocates using a therapeutic-based framework that educates barbers on 4 key points that reduce negative thoughts and stigma around discussing mental health topics.
With the launch of the Beauty Coalition, The Confess Project of America will now be reaching even more people and can begin to impact those in beauty salons and beyond, equipping them with crucial tools for their mental health.