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Yesterday Emerging HOPE received over 50+ "Likes" in our Facebook comment section. The respondents were commenting on an earlier post by Emerging HOPE Co-director, Curtis Robinson which stated, "We must work harder at creating safe spaces for Black men and boys to vent, express themselves, be vulnerable, speak about their pain and even seek mental health services without the fear of being criticized or looked down upon. Most important, we need to stop equating being "devoid of emotions" with manhood."

We believe that the 50+ responses confirm the fact that "it's time for our community to create safe spaces for Black men and boys to vent and seek mental health services."

Per Mary Lewis, the Family Health Center is opening a new location at 505 E. Alcott. FHC is launching a new health delivery model called integrated care. The premise behind the model is to provide multiple patient "touches" in one visit (medical, behavioral health, pharmacy services and case management). Behavioral Health Services is one of the "touches". The model allows individuals to seek mental health services without the negative stigma of traditional services. The Alcott location opens March 28th. Spread the word. If you are interested in additional information, please send me an IM.

Moreover, Saturday, March 18, 2017, from 11:00 am – 4:30 pm Emerging HOPE will host its 10th Annual Mental Health Forum at the Kalamazoo Public Library, Downtown Branch – VanDuesen Room. Curtis Robinson will facilitate a workshop entitled African American Males and Mental Illness. This will be a safe place where those who are seeking and/or receiving mental health services; as well as service providers/community members can glean cutting-edge information and have open non-judgmental dialogue.

Registration for this event is $25, with limited scholarships available. Payment for the forum: paypal.me/emerginghopefsp. To register for the forum online visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XQ9LPK7 or on the Emerging HOPE website at http://www.emerginghopefsp.org/mental-health-forum. For additional information, please contact Curtis or Pamela Robinson, Sr. at 269-205-3356.

Please join us to accomplish our mission of inspiring others with a message of hope as we walk alongside them in their struggle with mental illness.

Sincerely, Curtis and Pamela Robinson, Sr. Emerging HOPE Co-Directors