New podcast series hopes to start the conversation about mental health

Daniel Fairley II and John Thompson of the "How U?" podcast series.
Daniel Fairley II and John Thompson of the "How U?" podcast series.(Cville MBA)
Published: Feb. 28, 2021 at 8:02 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville group is hoping to make it easier for Black males to open up about their mental health by asking a simple question: How are you?

Daniel Fairely II of the Charlottesville Alliance for Black Male Achievement is a co-host of a podcast and video series, How U?, aiming to spark the conversation about a range of mental health topics in among Charlottesville’s Black youth community.

“We’re realizing that a lot of Black men may be having these mental health conversations but they may be kind of in a smaller room or not really exposed to other people and so we said, you know what, we have this opportunity to be able to record our conversations and talk about what it means to be a Black man and be focused on mental health,” Fairley said.

Fairley said the podcast is a way for Black males to feel more comfortable speaking out about mental health issues like stress, anxiety or depression.

”It’s really about changing the narrative. Whether its changing the internal narrative that we may have inside of our heads. Myself and John Thompson talk about going to therapy and what that means for us,” Fairley said, “But it’s also changing the narrative that Black men are these impenetrable people that don’t need help, that don’t need guidance, that don’t need to talk about their feelings or don’t need to talk about what’s hurting them or what’s hard. I just think that’s not true.”

Fairley and Thompson speak with a range of Black male leaders in Charlottesville on the podcast, from Dr. Cameron Webb, a doctor now working in the White House, to William Jones III of the nationally recognized Prolyfyck Run Crew.

“They can see that there are Black men talking about these very real very deep issues in a way they haven’t before,” Fairley said.

He says even though the podcast is a limited series, the response to it has been overwhelmingly positive. He’s hoping to start more mental health programs for Charlottesville’s youth in the near future.

Copyright 2021 WVIR. All rights reserved.