Menu Close

Programs

The Message

People, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, may suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness. Mental health is a serious issue and needs to be addressed more often. Mental health matters just as much as physical health. Our mental muscle should be valued, trained, and exercised just as our physical muscles. The objective is to eliminate the notion “it is not ok to seek counseling or therapy because it makes one looks “crazy” or otherwise”. It takes tremendous gumption to allow yourself to become vulnerable and break out. Breaking Free aims to empower the African American community and aid in them discovering, seeking counseling or therapy makes you brave, strong, and courageous. Counseling and therapy enable an individual to reflect on the conflictions in their lives, share their narrative, and properly heal. The time to keep quiet is no more.

Mental health is not a main topic of discussion within the African American community leaving the community in great distress to several secrets, underlying pains, and regrets. There are many traditions and conversations viewed as “taboo” within the community such as sexual assault by a relative or family friend that is covered up, victims of domestic violence whether they are the witness or actual victim, policy brutality, or a person’s visible mental state. These all have lasting effects on the individual and can alter their mental state. The fear of being ridicule is significantly high which results in a lot of individuals to suffer in silence. Generationally, the African American community is bred to be people of strength, perseverance, and faith to overcome obstacles regardless of how detrimental the treatment may be. It is time the community become comfortable with being uncomfortable, ask the hard questions, get the facts and become self-sufficient to be the best “YOU” you can be.

The ABC'S of Breaking Free

ACT:
The time to act is now. Breaking Free will host school and community forums that create awareness about how the number of African Americans whom have an undiagnosed mental health condition is increasing rapidly. Breaking Free will actively work with the African American community, health providers, all sources of media outlets, and faith and civic leaders to draw as much attention as needed to this vital cause.

BELIEVE:
It is the belief of Breaking Free that for the African American community to live impactful and purposeful lives, they must first understand the importance of being responsible for their health. Breaking Free believes through building a strong network of support, providing education and resources, as well as advocating to reduce the stigma on mental health within the African American community, will lead to a significant decrease in number of African Americans who go undiagnosed.

CONQUER:
 No matter who we are or what our ethnic, social, and religious backgrounds are, at some point in our lives, we all experience failure, disappointment, and grief because that’s simply how life is. In a perfect world we would experience nothing but success and happiness, but the universe wasn’t designed that way and the only thing we can control is how we respond when those things happen. We believe at Breaking Free. that all people possess the ability to Conquer any disappointment, failure, or grief they have starting with a strong support system. Through our various services provided we plan to provide an understanding, patient-centered, and uplifting support system to those without their own can develop support when they need it the most.

Purpose

Breaking Free believes the African American community is in dire need of additional supportive services to eliminate the barriers they encounter in effectively accessing quality mental health care. Through the work of Breaking Free, access to and use of the program services aim to enhance and improve an individual’s mental health outcome. Some of the services Breaking Free will provide are:

  1. Counseling: Breaking Free will provide our clients with therapeutic support. We offer in-house individual and family counseling. These counseling services broaden our therapeutic reach and help us ensure the mental health needs of our program participants and their families are being met.
  2. Case management: Breaking Free provides multi-level intervention for case management services to the African American community. These services include risk screenings, group education sessions, one-on-one counseling and support, and available resources within the community.
  3. Fitness and Wellness Center: To provide education on nutrition and physical fitness which heavily attributes to a healthy mental state.
  4. Social Work Services: Social Work is a professional and academic discipline which seeks to improve the quality of life and well-being of an individual, group, or community. Our Social Work team has several years of experience providing professional and knowledgeable services. Licensed Master Social Workers and bachelor’s level social workers within our program collaborate with all entities involved with the client in order to ensure the highest quality services are provided.

Services include:

i. Risk Assessment

ii. Individual and/or Group Counseling

iii. Client-Centered

iv. Crisis Intervention

v. Grief/Loss

vi. Follow-up Support

vii. Focus Groups

viii. Referrals to Community Resources

 

These various services are designed to help all patients acquire a greater quality of life.