This week on BeREAL, Diana and Ednesha are joined by Zakia Williams to discuss her practice, Black Men Heal, and how it furthers a conversation about Black men and mental health.
Zakia Williams began her career in the mental health field over 17 years ago after completing an undergraduate degree at Temple University. In 2001, she successfully earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Business. She is currently in the second year of her master’s program in counseling. Zakia Williams is the President and CEO of Interface Psych Services. Her mission is to educate and remove the stigma surrounding mental health in the Black community. She is dedicated and works non stop helping people find their path to healing with Black Men Heal where she is the Co-founder and Client Liaison.
Zakia begins the episode by discussion how Black Men Heal came to be. She points out the ways in which she saw Black men react to the idea of vulnerability. They often shut down and this would negatively impact their close relationships. Black Men Heal creates a space where patients can defy these stigmas and open up to other men about their emotions. Zakia then explains how the program is structured and the transition to seeing a licensed clinical social worker after the cohorts are finished.
Zakia then discusses the ways in which they target intersectional demographics, most recently with their first LGBTQ+ cohort, as a means to create strong allies for a number of different minority communities. She then ties to conversation back to earlier, back to the idea that a lack of vulnerability creates rifts in relationships. She acknowledges that Black Men Heal does not solely address Black men and mental health, it heals the people close to the patients as well.
Lastly, Zakia recounts how Black Men Heal grew from a small organization to one with over 200 people on its waiting list. With such a large clientele, and a mission to make therapy available to Black men at no cost to the patient, Zakia gives information on how listeners can donate to the organization. If you would like to donate please see the links below!
Thank you so much for tuning into BeREAL this week! We look forward to having you with us next week, but in the meantime, remember to catch last week’s episode on Black women mental health if you haven’t already.
Here are the links to find out more about Black Men Heal and to donate if you are able:
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