Milwaukee Man Creates Safe Space For Brothers To Discuss Mental Health

Milwaukee Man Creates Safe Space For Brothers To Discuss Mental Health

Talk Trauma was developed to help Black men better cope with mental health issues.

Founded by Artemus Johnson, Talk Trauma is a monthly group that invites Black men to come and discuss anything that’s on their minds. 

Johnson came up with the idea for Talk Trauma three years ago, when he started hosting discussions on Facebook Live.

The Milwaukee man said that he noticed he and his contemporaries were grappling with the same issues.  

“A lot of us were struggling with the same thing, and nobody said anything about it,” Johnson said. 

“I call it the safe spot for Black men, because helping them out is definitely helping the community I live in,” Johnson told Spectrum News. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death among Black men aged 15 to 24.  

“People don’t talk about how often Black men take their own lives,” Johnson said. “We don’t talk about those numbers.”

The Talk Trauma founder admits to having his own bout with depression. 

“One of the most real thoughts I ever had in my life was standing at that cliff, saying to myself, regardless of what was going on, that everybody would be OK if I’m not here,” he recalled.

NAMI also reported that Black men are less likely to seek mental health treatment, and when they do seek help, they are less likely to receive suitable care.

Lack of representation in the mental health community affects Black people tremendously. In 2020, the American Psychological Association reported that only 4% of mental health professionals were Black.  

The lack of diversity may make it more difficult for people of color, especially men, to find therapists who can understand the specific cultural nuances needed to provide adequate care.   

“Men don’t deal with their emotions. Men don’t actually talk about how they feel,” Johnson said.

“There’s an entire generation of men who raised men just like that.”

Talk Trauma is Johnson’s way of bridging the gap by providing a safe space for Black men to support one another. 

If you or someone you know needs mental health assistance, click here for a list of resources. You can find additional resources here.