These Founders Are On A Mission To Address Inequities In The Mental Health Space For Black Men
Photo Credit: Jesse Alex and Lamar Johnson, Founders of Dear Fathers

These Founders Are On A Mission To Address Inequities In The Mental Health Space For Black Men

Salute to Black fatherhood!

Although Father’s Day has come and gone, this organization is committed to celebrating Black men and fathers year-round.

Dear Fathers was founded by Jesse Alex and Lamar Johnson, Jr to change the narrative of Black fatherhood. Now they’re addressing the inequities of Black mental health by creating a safe space for Black men and fathers to connect, fellowship, and unpack.

“We started brainstorming the black fatherhood space and seeing what was out there and wanted to come up with something that was impactful and wanted to do it differently,” co-founder Jesse Alex told AfroTech via email. “We are responsible for our mental health, but we need help and support from others.”

Utilizing their collective resources, the organization launched “STR8 MENTAL,” which includes free virtual therapy services aimed at connecting Black men to mental health practitioners.

This is yet another program provided by the organization with the goal of providing safe spaces to those experiencing life-changing events by allowing them to express their concerns through live discussions that are guided by a specialist.

Since the launch of STR8 Mental in May 2020, Dear Fathers has been able to help over 600 men and the work continues.

“We’re telling all these stories from the perspective of Black men, rather husbands, single fathers, stepdads, whatever it may be. I’m able to tap into that from every single story and now have access to so much information that I was missing growing up,” said co-founder, Lamar Johnson, who also communicated with AfroTech via email. “My perspective has changed on what a man is and even just what a Dad is.”

Dear Fathers is currently working to build a directory of licensed mental health professionals which will live on their website. This year the goal is to continue to connect with other businesses and organizations on a mission to change the narrative of Black fatherhood and mental health, specifically when it comes to men.

Click here for more on Dear Fathers and ways to get involved.