The Confess Project, the premier mental health awareness movement servicing the Black community, today announced it is now incorporated as The Confess Project of America (TCPA).
With this re-brand, the national organization will support local chapters in training barbers and stylists to become mental health advocates in an effort to build awareness and break stigmas around mental health within the Black community.
“The last six years have been incredibly humbling as we’ve experienced tremendous response and interest in our grassroots movement,” said Lorenzo Lewis, founder, and national spokesperson.
“Growing up, I witnessed first-hand both the lack of mental health resources available to the Black community and how barbers and hair stylists can serve as mental health gatekeepers. We’ve made great progress since I founded the organization, and I can’t wait to see how The Confess Project’s evolution continues.”
The Confess Project was started as a grassroots initiative in 2016 and is best recognized as “America’s first mental health barbershop movement.” With a scarcity of mental health resources available to the Black community, and a stigma around expressing feelings and personal struggles, the organization seeks to reduce the very high suicide rates among Black men.
To date, the organization has trained over 1,620 barbers across the country to serve as mental health advocates. Using therapeutic-based frameworks, members of TCPA train barbers to listen to their clients, validate their clients’ feelings, positively communicate, and reduce the stigma around mental health. The Confess Project also trains essential frontline workers to help them better understand the feelings and emotions of young Black men and children within the community, with a focus on relevant race and cultural identity strategies.
Now, with the incorporation, TCPA will for the first time expand this training to hair stylists at salons across the United States.
“This all started because of my aunt’s salon—a place of refuge for me throughout my youth. In today’s society, it was important to us to expand our focus to women and young girls as well, and we’re thrilled to bring the training to these salons,” added Lewis.
Alongside the national organization run by therapists, scientists, academics, and community advocates, The Confess Project is establishing its inaugural local chapters in the Metro Atlanta, Bay Area (California), Los Angeles, and Greater Boston neighborhoods. The Confess Project of Metro Atlanta, where the national organization is headquartered, is opening a mental health clinic to further support those reached through the training and offer clinical support as needed. The goal is to continue establishing local chapters in areas of need across the country, as well as continuing to open or partner with clinics to extend the services.
Learn more about The Confess Project of America, Inc. and opportunities to support the movement at www.theconfessproject.com.