Barbers, beauticians invited to Mental Health Event hosted by NAMI

JACKSON, Tenn. — The National Alliance on Mental Illness held a Mental Health Event on Monday.

The free event was held at Lane College in honor of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

“We are here clipping the stigma of mental health. Getting information out on mental health in the Black community and how we can talk about it more, be okay with talking about it, and sharing it,” said Donneka Johnson, the Owner of Jewels and Gems Institute of Beauty.

Some of the people that were highly encouraged to attend and learn techniques and practices that will foster mental health and wellness were barbers, hair stylists, nail salon technicians, and beauticians.

This is due to many of their clients talking to them about mental health issues during their visits. If this situation occurs, they will have more knowledge to be able to help.

Roger Stewart, the Deputy Director for NAMI, said that if you’re suffering from any type of mental illness, the first step is to talk to friends and family and to start reaching out for help.

According to Stewart, sometimes it can be hard to determine what are the ups and downs of everyday life, and what are mental health conditions.

“And so usually it takes a mental health professional to help reach those conclusions. Reaching out for help, talking to your primary care physician are all great places to start the conversation,” Stewart said.

Johnson said she is grateful to be able to attend this event on mental illness.

“Being able to speak on this, and not only speaking on it but hearing others opinions on what is going on and how we can help fix it or at least talk about it. That way the ball can start rolling as to how we can get help, get healthy, and on the road to wellness,” Johnson said.

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