Monday, October 22, 2018

Block Club Chi: After Losing A Friend To Suicide, Englewood Woman Starts Company To Get Black Chicagoans Talking About Mental Health

I truly wish this young lady the best of luck in this endeavor. Hopefully what she does will get Black Chicagoans to talk about mental illness
Three years ago, Englewood native and marketing professional BreAnna Moss lost a close friend to suicide.

While grieving, she wondered what she could do to get communities of color to open up about mental health issues.

“He was one of those people who lit up a room no matter where he was and he was one of those people you could lean on and dump all of your stuff on,” Moss said of her friend. “He would give you great advice, wonderful advice, and we just thought he had really thick skin and didn’t know he was going through so much with PTSD and other traumas that may have happened both in the military and before because he grew up in Chicago.”

The stigma surrounding mental health runs deep in her neighborhood, Moss said, and she knew there needed to be a new approach to speaking with communities of color about these issues. Her idea? Use music and poetry to get people talking.

“Mental health and mental wellness is stigmatized in Black and Brown communities,” she said. “We don’t talk about it. We push folks to go to church. I’m not saying church is not a place you can go but we kind of push people to go to church first when sometimes you need an approach that includes praying, an approach that includes a physician — a doctor — someone who is objective about the situation that can speak to you and talk you through some things.”

Moss, 25, officially launched her marketing and consulting firm, Fresh Kulture, in March. She said her goal is to connect clients with Millennial audiences and create events centered around music, poetry and collective healing.

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