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Black men open up about unlearning standards of masculinity, healing from trauma

Millions of Americans — including millions of Hoosiers — face mental health challenges.

News 8’s Amicia Ramsey takes a look at how these issues impact the Indianapolis community in a weeklong “INside Story” series.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Recovering from trauma is an individual experience.

Pastor Kenneth Sullivan Jr. says making strides in healing is a challenging process. He says it’s not uncommon for some Black men to feel like they have nowhere to turn to and no one who understands their struggles.

According to the American Psychological Association, just over 4% of psychologists in the U.S. are black. However, professionals like Orlando Jordan hope to change this statistic.

Jordan is the well-being and community support manager for the Town of Plainfield.

“I believe it is important for us to normalize talking about our emotions,” Jordan said.

Jordan says Black men are taught not to show their emotions or talk about them at a young age, which takes a toll over time.

“If we take the trauma throughout our life and unpack those things and talk about them and have honest conversations around them, it helps us to be better brothers, fathers, pastors, better community leaders, better civic leaders, and everything across the board,” Jordan said.

That’s why, Jordan says, it’s important to create a safe space for men to ask for help.

“It is something that is going to be beneficial for us to share and feel comfortable to share and develop a culture around being able to share man-to-man. Saying ‘This is what is going on with me,’ and not feeling that someone will hold that against us.”

Mental health resources