Guest Writer: Alexis Janel
A highlight of my previous week was discovering HealHaus, a new holistic wellness studio for black men, now accessible in Brooklyn, NY. The studio has received notable recognition from Essence magazine and the New York Times to name a few. Founder Darian Hall, a Kappa Alpha Psi brother, had inspiration for this space after meeting his father for the first time. Additionally, men in his circle also have had similar concerns within the context of family relationships or marital relationships. So, Darian designed this safe space with Black brothers in mind.
These men are fathers, husbands, businessmen, and much more, but it still doesn’t take away from America discounting them as the minority and men. They are taught to be strong, yet anxiety and depression plague their daily lives. Darian recognized that it’s time to change this narrative. Jay-Z, a personal inspiration for Darian, once shared in a song lyric from his 4:44 album, “You can’t heal what you don’t reveal.” In other words, for Jay-Z, Darian, and black men period, the time is now to speak up about feelings and experiences that are affecting mental health. Healing takes time, but what better way to go through the process than with individuals that look like, talk like, and relate to you?
Currently, HealHaus offers psychotherapy, of which black practitioners can primarily reach black men. This is encouraging news, considering I don’t think there’s enough black representation in the mental health counseling field. Other available options include massage therapy and a wellness café with specialized smoothies and teas prepared by an on-staff chef and doctor. A goal in the works for this year is to bring HealHaus services to corporate offices, essentially for men that can’t easily access the site due to work agendas. A future goal is to open more sites in other areas, with D.C. being a target. If this plan is finalized, which I would love to see, I will share at a later date. So proud of you, Mr. Hall!
I end with this point: black men, pray for, check in on, and encourage other black men in schools, workplaces, churches, and even in passing. You cannot wholeheartedly commit to your job, school, relationship, or any other personal goal when pain is held in. You are no good to yourself or others this way. You matter. So, I urge you to put in effort to heal past and/or present wounds and live like you matter.