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Recent events have underscored the social and cultural barriers young black men face in America—barriers that are complicated by mental health challenges, rigid definitions of manhood, and a lack of social support. In “From Angry Black Men to #BlackBoyJoy: The Evolution of Mental Health and Manhood Among Young Black Men,” Prof Watkins will discuss the origin and successful implementation of the Young, Black Men, Masculinities, and Mental Health (YBMen) project, an intervention created to address the unique pressures and needs of young black men, especially issues related to their masculinity and mental health. The project uses the popular social media platform, Facebook, to provide mental health education and social support to young Black men who may be uncomfortable discussing sensitive issues face-to-face. YBMen is delivered via a private Facebook group where black men’s health researchers and practitioners moderate gender-specific and culturally-relevant discussions using prompts from popular culture (e.g., YouTube videos, photos, lyrics, and current news headlines). Prof. Watkins will discuss some of the data she has collected from this low-cost, Internet-based intervention and also consider whether its results are scalable.
Daphne C. Watkins is an associate professor of social work at the University’s of Michigan’s School of Social Work and a faculty associate of the Research Center for Group Dynamics within UM’s Institute for Social Research.
Photo credit: Via Pixabay.