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Gun Violence and Men's Mental Health Awareness - 6/12/23

As previously discussed, June is Mental Health Awareness and Gun Violence Awareness Month. Each week my company and I, Tru Phoenix LLC., has been providing statistics about these two pertinent subject matters. This week I decided that, in addition to some more stats, I will provide a more personal touch with these two subject matters. These two subjects hit close to home. This is why, out of all the awareness topics for June, I chose these two.

I too am a part of the 6 million people who deal with depression every year. I don’t remember the full diagnosis. However, I was diagnosed with a form of depression in 2016. I’m sure that I initially got it way way way way before then. According to the World Health Organization, men account for 75% of all suicides. Thankfully, I’m not a part of that statistic…obviously. However, I very much have a history with ideations and attempts. I am a part of the research proven statement that says: Men are less likely than women to seek help for depression or stressful life events due to social norms, reluctance to talk, or downplaying symptoms (Source: Mental Health America). I’m black, I grew up in a Christian household, and I am a male. So I’ve been raised and guided by the mentality that you pray it away, men don’t cry, men don’t show emotions, you suck it up and keep it pushing, etc. Being in therapy since 2016; all of those mentalities are not completely gone, but they have very much been modified.

Then there’s my history with gun violence…….

Up until 2019; I had had a church member (suicide), a neighbor (murder), and a bunch of homeboys (murder) be the victim of gun violence. My heart broke for our community and their families when these incidences occurred. Of course we’ve heard of the plethora of people all over the country, who have died because of guns. Rather it be from cops, suicide, or others…the stats are astounding.

Then May 2019, I got a call that one of my little brothers had been murdered. The pain and grief is one thing when you lose a relative or loved one, but you expected it because of how sick they were. Then the ones that die all of a sudden from health issues that you knew or did not know about. But when someone, especially someone that you’re close to and interact with quite often, dies because of murder…that’s a whole different type of pain. This for me, occurred a year after I lost my grandma/mom – who was my queen and my everything….so you can only imagine what it did for my mental health. However, that is a conversation for a different day.

I am aware that by talking about trauma and issues, you are doing 1 of 2 things. You are assisting yourself in healing and/or you may help someone else with theirs. Therefore, if anything I’ve stated has triggered anything and/or you want to know more; you can view or listen to any of the following episodes of my podcast, The QB Zone. All episodes are available on iheartradio, Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Audible, and YouTube.

1. Season 1 Episode 6 – Mental Health & My Journey With Therapy

2. Season 2 Episode 5 – Choice, Change, Conquer

3. Season 2 Episode 8 – Surviving Grief & Sustaining Mental Health

4. Season 2 Episode 9 – Surviving Suicide

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