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Lack Of Employment Contributing To Mental Health Distress In Black Men

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Cristin Dent @thegodpsychology

Where do black men go to heal? Where do they share their fears, their trauma, and confusion? Economic distress serves as a driving factor of depression, suicide, and personal distress, especially for Black men.

The pressure to find a job, maintain employment, healing from grief and loss, securing adequate transportation, and giving their best in a romantic relationship are all pressures that can break them. Creating jobs, on the other hand, creates sustainability, purpose, and the ability for men to feel like they can provide and maintain a family. 

The negative self talk and toxic thoughts from not being able to provide for themselves and family, contribute to isolation and silent suffering. Present parents, adequate support, mentorship, financial resources, and having a personal community, are necessities for men. But in the African American community, there can be a scarcity of these things.

Feelings of worthlessness and unworthiness are impacting Black men, especially, when it comes to feeling prepared to be a partner in a relationship, running a business, becoming a father, and achieving other life goals. Before we can talk about successful Black businessmen, it is important to nurture, train and develop whole Black men. This is crucial for success in business, marriage and parenthood.

The family is the primary nucleus and foundation for identity, purpose, and guidance. We are living in a time where the brokenness and fractured nature of some families is paralyzing young fathers who have no idea what a husband or father looks like. When there is a father wound — the absence, neglect, abuse, from a father — it leaves a gaping wound of uncertainty, fear, and failure in a person, especially a man. Who is setting an example and teaching them along the way?

Professor Dent’s 24-year-old cousin committed suicide. He jumped in front of a train, and no one in the family knew that he was struggling with  unmanaged emotions of depression, in reaction to grief and loss, and uncertainty about his future. Two years later, a dear friend of hers, a 19-year-old father of two, hung himself in his girlfriend’s closet after she broke up with him. He shared that he had nowhere to go, no one to turn to, and he was tired of running and not having a place of his own. Then, a former lover who was almost a spouse, committed suicide and shared with her his depression, child abuse, physical pains, unemployment, and not knowing how to regulate and articulate his thoughts & emotions.

The loss of these three significant black men and their silent cries, has propelled Professor Dent, to create The God Psychology, a system where people can find Black coaches and counselors, along with teaching on business development. Understanding that not everyone needs medication or a diagnosis, people can learn practical skills and tools so they can react to life in a healthier manner. 

To 7 Ways to Intervene For Black Man

  1. Parents Seek Forgiveness From Your Children
    1. Far too often we hold onto unprocessed trauma from our childhood. The anger, the rage and the hurt from the divorce, the prison sentence, the emotional distance, are all bottled up. Having open conversations about these situations and not assuming how they feel, are vital to the forgiveness process and feeling like they matter.
  2. Stop Shaming Just Because You Went Through A Similar Experience
    1. Regardless if you have gone through similar experiences, you are not him. Telling him to get over it, or man up, are all causes to have him go in a cave and never come out. 
  3. Provide Emotional and Financial Support 
    1. Teach them about financial literacy, grants, therapy, expressing themselves, and providing housing until they have an adequate habit of saving and finances for independence. This process starts as children so we do not have adult men, confused. 
  4. Teach Them About Relationships
    1. Expose them to marriage and healthy relationships,. Even if you do not have it yet, expose them to it. Teach them what to look for and provide spaces for them to talk to you about how they are handling their relationships. 
  5. My Brother’s Keeper 
    1. An alliance and mentorship program for African American men from The Obama Foundation  https://www.obama.org/mbka/mentor/ 
  6. Therapy For Black Men 
    1. A directory to find African American therapists and coaches  www.therapyforblackmen.com 
  7. The God Psychology 
    1. A directory for black Christian therapists and coaches www.thegodpsychology.com 

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