TheOutletProject_ held an event meant for expression. A form of expression on a topic that is often times overlooked or unnoticed when in reality it should definitely be considered more.
This was a talk dedicated to mental health and the awareness of suicide. As opposed to this discussion leading to tears of sadness it produced tears of release and acceptance; knowing that whatever feelings you have are ok and can be shared.
Participants at this great event definitely got more than they bargained for with this Social Awareness Mixer. We started the night with an opportunity to greet and connect with one another other. We were able to walk around and marvel at the different vendors with their products displayed, and have a drink or two to prepare ourselves for the conversation. The drinks were crafted by Miss Shayla and her @sophisticated_cocktails, and she made them strong enough for you to feel it after just one cup. The food was catered by the always delicious BreakNBred BBQ. If you are ever lucky enough to have the opportunity to eat this delicious BBQ and BBQ sauce please take it; don’t deny yourself the pleasure.
Speaking of taste-bud pleasure, I cannot forget to mention Mama’s Girl Custom Creations with her artistic treats and cookies. I went home with a bag of her chocolate chip cookie bites, a perfect sweet and savory escape after a night of deep discussion. Of course, more than our tummies were fulfilled at this gathering. Other vendors included, Liberation Natural Skin Care & Aroma Therapy seducing senses and making love to skin, as well as Lonez Scents.
The discussion itself was held by a panel of Black Excellence sharing their own struggles and truths with mental health. The panel included Dr. Thomas J. Galliguez @therealdrthomas, the director of The Outlet Project Adrian, and licensed therapist and personal counselor/sister Dr. Ebony Blue. The panel paved the way for discussion on the deepest parts of our emotions, and gave the audience a chance to let the thoughts that they desperately needed to share out in a safe place. A safe place because everyone was open to everyone sharing their thoughts, asking their questions and most importantly speaking their truth.
It was a room full of African Americans adults, both younger and older, speaking openly about mental health and the importance of us sharing. Sharing our hurts and pains because it is essential for overcoming trauma and getting stronger. We can never hope to move on from pain if we are never able to face it. The most important message of the night was for us to learn how to look forward to therapy. My counselor said it best, making it to therapy is a milestone that ought to be celebrated and glorified. Not something to be ashamed of in any way. I hope that we as a community can have more discussions such as this one, and normalize dealing with trauma as opposed to ignoring it away.
Thank you @TheOutletProject_