By Okon Ekpenyong
Lovers of Music flock to Columbus State Community College to see Grammy Nominated R&B Singer Musiq Soulchild. However, the performer didn’t come to wow the audience with his soulful voice; instead, he is using his platform to focus on Mental Health and conversations surrounding Men’s wellness in the country.
The event, Real Men, Real Talk, was a National Discussion about Mental Health and wellness by the African American Wellness Agency; it was like an open mic for community members to come together to talk about daily challenges men face.
The singer teaming up with African American Wellness Agency, a Central Ohio non-profit organization promoting Physical and Mental Health awareness across more than sixteen cities in the nation, helps continue the organization’s dedication to improving the lifespan of men, especially in the minority communities.
Stage-wise, he’s best remembered for such hits as “B.U.D.D.Y,” Teach me,” “Halfcrazy,” “Love,” and much more. In 1998, Def Soul Jam Recordings signed the singer and released his debut album, “Aijuswanaseing,” containing the hits “Just Friends (Sunny), “Love,” and “Girls Next Door.”
There were several group sessions, which included:
A group of Women finding ways to be more supportive and understanding of some of the challenges men face regularly. On the men’s side, knowing that it is okay to seek help and not allow one emotion to control an outcome. One of the group sessions included a fourteen-year-old who became emotional when talking about the pressure he faced in joining a gang and the lack of positive reinforcement at home.
But his strength of walking away after losing some friends to the system keeps him alive. All of the men rallied by him, showing support, and at that moment, it became clearer that it truly takes a village to raise a kid.
Grammar Nominated R&B Singer Musiq Soulchild spoke with New Americans Magazine about how learning from others, especially when traveling or around people from different walks of life, can improve one’s mental health.
Traveling and Mental Health
It helps all of us understand that we are all connected. It is also the reality that we all have different views and perspectives. To the best of their ability, I highly recommend that people travel and broaden their horizons by going as far away from where arising. Try to go far away from where you were born and raised. In that journey, try to soak up as much as you can because you’ll see how some things are different and some are equally similar.
Soak up the experience
The experiences of being in another country or environment can help you reorient yourself in the world and gain a more accurate perspective than the echo chamber you used before you went.
Social media is an excellent way to access the rest of the world. It enhances your perspective and overall quality of life. You can also use YouTube; it takes you on a journey of exploration, for example, what’s happening in each region.
Mental Illness and Immigrant Community
I think that we all collectively have varying levels of those challenges. It’s only problematic when it’s not engaged regularly; there is a lack of communication about Mental illness, which leads to people not hearing about it much.
Creating a safe space for people to discuss these things where you can let some of the pressure off and connect with and identify with others experiencing those same experiences does help.
Find a counselor
It helps so you don’t feel so alone and don’t feel so overwhelmed. It could become an epidemic if leaders and community members don’t facilitate a discussion about Mental Illness. I don’t think that it’s an illness; rather a particular challenge that we all go through, and we need to foster conversations on how we can best operate within them or become better already.
On Saturday, August 13, 2022, thousands will head to Livingston Park to participate in the 22nd Annual African American Male Wellness Walk. Other cities across the country will also have their walk.
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