Positive Solutions

JUST FOR MEN

REAL TALK MEN TALK

PRESENTING STRESS &

AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN 

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"Just For Men: Real Talk, Men Talk" is designed for African American men to have conversations with one another around various life impacting issues and topic that are important to them.  Some of the topics will cover Physical, Emotional & Mental Health Awareness. 


"Just For Men: Real Talk, Men Talk" is geared towards African American Men in particular because of the unique challenges that they encounter on a daily basis. By sharing their personal stories, journey, lives and concerns with one another the goal is that they will strengthen and encourage each other to meet those challenges. 

Stress & Emotional Health Are Tied Together for American African MenThe (WHO) World Health Organization, the Department of Health & Human Services & the American Psychological Association (APA) are a few Organizations and Government bodies that found that STRESS Is Experienced Differently by African American Men.


It is Our Hope that through "Real Talk, Men Talk" African American Men would gain information that would help them to make Informed decisions regarding their Health and Well-Being. The program also highlights how and where to find help and resources.


WHAT IS STRESS? 

                                                                                                  Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. 

Stress occurs when individuals experience threats or demands without sufficient resources to meet these demands, mitigate or lessen the threats.    



TIME JUST FOR YOU AA MAN!!!

These Groups are An Opportunity for African American

Men to Come to Express their Thoughts, Concerns or Information with Other AA Men. There will be a Facilitator to Provide Thought Provoking Questions and to Keep the Conversation Going.

This Invitation and Environment is Designed Just For You

What Do You Say???? 



YOU ASK HOW MUCH DOES IT COST???

NO CHARGE: DONATE THE AMOUNT  YOU BELIEVE THE COMRADERY  AND CANDID CONVERSATION IS WORTH???

  Is The Big (E)  & the Big (D) 

Taboo for You? 

 

For Many African American Men 

"Emotions & Depression" Are Taboo Topics 

There is nothing  we can do to avoid the challenges of life. It is vital that we begin to reframe emotional and mental health to include a discussion about the day to day challenges of life. Too often, people are attempting to navigate the challenges of life without the help that they need.

                                                                                                  Depression is One of the Most common Mental Health Problems in the United States, affecting more than 

17 million people each year.

  • African Americans are 20% more likely to have serious psychological distress than Whites are.
  • About 7% of Americans experience serious depression each year.
  • For African Americans depressive occurrences are more disabling, persistent, and resistant to treatment than those experienced by Whites.
  • African American men are four times more likely to die by suicide than African American women are.
  • Less than 50% Less than half of all Americans with a mental disorder get the treatment that they need. But the proportion of African Americans who need mental health treatment and get it is only half that of Whites.

Stress & Mental Health are topics that many African American Men Consider Taboo and Do Not Often Discuss.

_______________________________________________________

 

The fact is that Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses but is Under Recognized and a Under Treated Problem among African American men. For African American men and their families, neglecting mental health needs can be devastating. When conditions like depression aren’t treated. African American men are more vulnerable to drug or alcohol use, homelessness, incarceration, homicide, and suicide.  


Common Mis-Conceptions & Myths & Truths


Common beliefs about Depression & Mental Health within the African American Community is that being depressed is just Normal and Talking about it is Weak. 

Getting help is the same as telling your

 business to a stranger. Nobody cares about your mental health anyway. These statements are not true. Mental Illness is Real and can Affects us all whether or not we choose to talk about it.


The Most Important Thing You Can Do If You Are Experiencing these Feelings is to Recognize them. 


Stress Is Not A Weakness, Depression is Not a Weakness. 

Common Mis-Conceptions

 Myths & Truths

Both Men and Women believed that Stress Could and does have Serious Negative Consequences for AA Mens Mental Health. Stress Reportedly Slowed Men Down and Made it Hard for them to focus.


In addition, Stress was described as leading to Mental Exhaustion and when not dealt with could cause a man to be "Mentally Shattered” The Following Statement are Some African American Men's View of What Stress Does: Among AA Men it seems that Stress & Depression are believed to influence one another, or as one man stated “They go together and most of the time or one leads to the other.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Another participant however, stated that there were differences between Stress and Depression and that the results are due to the person. The participant cited that: “Some people, when they’re Depressed, will not eat but then others do. I think it Depends on your make-up…and so, I don’t think it’s a set pattern because I’ve seen people do both…it just depends on the person.”


Not “Just The Blues”

Clinical depression is more than life’s “ups” and “downs.” Life is full of joy and pain, happiness and sorrow. It is normal to feel sad when a loved one dies, or when you are sick, going through a divorce, or having financial problems. But for some people the sadness does not go away, or keeps coming back. 

If your “blues” last more than a few weeks or cause you to struggle with daily life, you may be suffering from clinical depression.

Know the Signs & Recognize the Problem Everybody feels down or sad occasionally, but these feelings usually pass within a few days. When feelings of sadness, worry, and hopelessness last for weeks at a time and affect your ability to manage your daily life, you may be experiencing serious depression.



Both Men and Women get stressed and depressed, but men experience depression differently. Men who are depressed may be more likely to be very tired, feel irritable, and have difficulty sleeping. They may be more likely to lose interest in work, family, and hobbies. Men are also more likely than women to Experience “Stealth” Depression Symptoms such as Anger, Substance Abuse and Agitation.


CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH AFRICAN

AMERICAN MEN WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN COUNSELING

Male Married, Age 40s with 2 Children  

Initially Came because of marital issues but then discovered Individual Counseling would be good to address Needs.

Key Points: Wish I Had Did Counseling When I was in High School. Earlier or Sooner.

Cost: Didn’t know the Cost that what Deterred Me. Also, Really Didn’t know where to go or How to Begin

Pre-Conceived Ideas: Always thought it may be Judgmental or One Sided. Then I came to the conclusion to at least give it a chance.

Recommend: If you are Married Counseling can be like Mediation. Definitely if you are Newly Married Counseling He Recommends Counseling. Especially if you aren’t able to talk to people around you.

Cultural & Values: What Was Important to Him in Counseling: Look for Experienced African American Female therapist. His first counseling try was with a African American Male therapist: but states that his sessions were about General things or Environmental areas. It seems that he didn’t want to address deeper areas. He says having a male counseling wasn’t for him he thought he needed a female perspective. He says he felt a female therapist was a better listener and would be more sensitive.

What Counseling Meant & Means to Him: As he reflected on Counseling Experience he says Counseling has made the Difference in his Life. 

Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Men 

Here Are A Number of Ways to Recognize Clinical Depression

At the End of this Section There are Helpful Tips & Resources If You or Someone You Know May Be Experiencing Depression

The 3 Most Commonly Overlooked Signs of Depression In Men Are:

Anger
Physical Pain
Reckless Behavior

  • Anger. This could range from irritability, sensitivity to criticism, or a loss of your sense of humor to road rage, a short temper, or even violence. Some men become abusive or controlling.
  • Physical pain. Sometimes depression in men shows up as physical symptoms—such as backache, frequent headaches, sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, or digestive disorders—that don’t respond to normal treatment.
  • Reckless behavior. A man suffering from depression may exhibit escapist or risky behavior such as pursuing dangerous sports, driving recklessly, or engaging in unsafe sex. You might drink too much, abuse drugs, or gamble compulsively.

Men tend to be less adept at recognizing symptoms of depression than women. A man is more likely to deny his feelings, hide them from himself and others, or try to mask them with other behaviors. And while men may experience classic symptoms of depression such as despondent mood, loss of interest in work or hobbies, weight and sleep disturbances, fatigue, and concentration problems, they are more likely than women to experience “stealth” depression symptoms such as anger, substance abuse, and agitation.


How to Know If You Are Depressed

If you identify with several of the following, you may be suffering from depression.

1. You feel hopeless and helpless
2. You’ve lost interest in friends, activities, and things you used to enjoy
3. You’re much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
4. You’re consuming more alcohol, engaging in reckless behavior, or self-medicating
5. You feel restless and agitated
6. Your sleep and appetite has changed
7. You can’t concentrate or your productivity at work has declined
8. You can’t control your negative thoughts

To help decide if you—or someone you care about—needs an evaluation for clinical depression, review the following list of symptoms. If you experience five or more for longer than two weeks, if you feel like hurting yourself, or if the symptoms interfere with your daily routine, see your doctor, and bring this sheet with you.

• A persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood, or excessive crying

• Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain

• Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic     pain

• Irritability, restlessness

• Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”

• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism

• Sleeping too much or too little, early-morning waking

• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex

• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

• Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts


https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-in-men.htm

ASSISTANCE AND RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP!!!

Depression lasting longer than two weeks is an illness that can cause disability and even death. Depression is a treatable illness. Your doctor may be able to help. Building Rapport & Finding a Culturally Sensitive Provider. While we Recommend you go directly to a Mental Health Professional because this is their area of expertise. However, if you do not feel comfortable seeing a mental health professional right away, a primary care doctor is a great place to start or help refer you to a mental health professional.



QUICK AND EASY TOOLS YOU CAN DO YOUR SELF TO REDUCE STRESS 

HELPFUL COPING METHODS

MINDFULNESS

HOBBIES

BREATHING EXERCISES

PROGRESS MUSCLE RELAXATION

FAITH AND SPIRITILITY USED TO RELAX OR COPE WITH STRESS

AFRICAN AMERICAN 

MEN & WOMEN "TALK TOO" 

To Mix Things Up a Bit 

African American Women Join in the Real Talks Conversations Occasionally!!!

CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH AFRICAN 

AMERICAN MEN WHO HAVE PARTICIPANTED IN COUNSELING

Mature Man Early 60s Former Client Exp. Couples & Individual Sessions

Key Points: He shares he Came with a Positive & Open Mind Had prior counseling exposure, Still Didn’t know what to expect from a new therapist. But Came with a Positive & Open Mind. I Did Not approach Counseling with any Pre-conceived Stamina/Taboos as some African American Men may feel or feeling that as a male he should not go to counseling. He States that He Just Knew He Needed Help Outside of what he and his wife were experiencing. Culture & Values: are Very Important and was Motivation for the Type of Counselor Sought. A Therapist of the same Culture Made & Makes a Hugh Difference because they would understand the cultural experiences.

CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN WHO PARTICIPATED IN COUNSELING

CONTINUES: 

                                                                                                            Client gave an exp. Of counseling with someone of a different ethnic background following ending sessions but said despite approaching that new therapist with an open mind the client felt that he sense that there was a cultural divide or disconnect with the new therapist from a different cultural background.


What Counseling Meant & Means to Him: It Provided an Opportunity to have discussions to express issues without being interrupted while various emotions were still high, angry and frustration. Therapist provided an unbiased ear.

Engaging in therapy resulted in saving his marriage. Client states that they would no doubt have continued to struggle and may have disrupted his marriage had they not incorporated Counseling. 

 AFRICAN AMERICAN 

"MEN & WOMEN TALK"

"REAL TALK"


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SOURCES ACKNOWLEDGED

Lazarus & Folkman, 1984  

 

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4519397/


https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/docs/byomm_factsheet02.pdf


                                                                                                                                    https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-in-men.htm