Black and Latino Men Fight for Mental Health
“Our classes teach people how to recognize and support those who are carrying heavy mental health or addiction burdens,” said Ceseña.
SAN BERNARDINO, CA— “Men in general and Black and Latino men, in particular, don’t like to talk about their emotions,” says Inland Empire Men’s Mental Health program director Gerzon Ceseña. “They don’t want to appear weak or vulnerable because they have been taught their whole lives that men don’t cry and must always be strong.”
The Making Hope Happen Foundation obtained grant funding to open a training program that teaches people how to accurately recognize when someone may be in need and then, using proven techniques, helps them to take the first step—to open up and talk.
“We don’t offer clinical training,” said Ceseña, “but we do offer an introductory QPR Gatekeeper (Question, Persuade, Refer) course and two Mental Health First Aid courses, one that focuses on adults and one on youth. They both include lessons about anxiety, depression, symptoms of psychosis, and how to recognize the cues that can help participants refer them to the appropriate professionals,” said Ceseña.
In addition, suicidal thoughts or feelings of desperation can also be contributing factors. The IE Men’s Mental Health initiative introductory course lasts only 90 minutes and trains participants on how to recognize suicidal ideation and gives students practical advice on how to get those suffering from this condition to open up about it.
“Our entire approach can be summed up as ‘Friendship Is Good for One’s (Mental) Health,'” says Ceseña. “Friends need to learn how to help their friends—and family—when life starts getting them down. The skills learned are immediately useful and give men (and women) real solutions when life for their friends and loved ones becomes overwhelming.”
For more information or to sign up for a course, visit. https://www.mhhfmentalhealth.org/adult.htm or call (909) 347-7234. Class schedules are updated monthly.
The Making Hope Happen Foundation supports the educational mission of the San Bernardino City Unified School District which has embraced the power of hope as a primary driver of personal motivation and community change. Making Hope Happen Foundation engages people, builds partnerships, provides leadership, and delivers resources where they are needed to achieve a thriving and innovative community in which every student is a life-long learner and can be successful in meeting their hopes and aspirations. For more information, please visit www.MakingHope.org.
The Foundation’s Inland Empire Men’s Mental Health initiative offers free mental health training for non-professionals, equipping them to recognize, approach and support friends, family, and colleagues. With support from Dignity Health and the Unihealth Foundation, Making Hope Happen Foundation has trained thousands of local men and women in Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid and/or QPR Gatekeeper.
For more information on The IE Men’s Mental Health Initiative please visit www.IEMensMentalHealth.org or call (909) 347-7234.