A local nonprofit in Jenkintown called Black Men Heal was recently named a ‘Champion in Action’ and awarded $35,000 to help the group with their mission, reports Frances Wang for NBC10 Philadelphia.
Black Men Heal provides free mental health care to men of color.
The group aims to remove the stigma and stereotypes they face when dealing with mental health issues and seeking help. It matches each man with a therapist to help guide them through the stress of racism, prejudice, and economic disparity.
“I started it as a therapist and as a black woman just being really tired of being complicit in a broken and inequitable mental health care system,” said founder Tasnim Sulaiman. “I wanted to create a solution for primarily black men but also communities of color to be able to receive access and culturally competent treatment – which is so important.”
Sulaiman said the nonprofit does everything to break down the barriers that prevent men of color from getting mental health care, which is why their services are free.
Thanks to a partnership with Citizens Bank, NBC10, Telemundo 62, and The Philadelphia Inquirer the nonprofit was awarded $35,000 to go towards their efforts of helping men of color get access to mental health care.
“Mental health issues affect all of our families, there should be no stigma,” said Daniel Fitzpatrick, president of Citizens Bank. “What Tas and the team of Black Men Heal are doing with telehealth as well as in-person counseling is critical so that men of color are working with other men of color to deal with their mental health issues.”
The nonprofit is looking forward to expanding its services thanks to the generous award and will be able to help more people in need of aid.
“During the pandemic, our demand for services increased by 400% but our ability to service them increased by 30%,” Sulaiman said. “This is going to help us to increase our supply to be able to meet the demand. We’re going to recruit and hire more therapists of color which means we’ll be able to service more of the hundreds and hundreds of men on our waiting list.”
Learn more about Black Men Heal at NBC10 Philadelphia.