WLRB Columbus, GA Feature
The Confess Project in Columbus hopes to raise awareness of preventing suicide, battling depression
by: Shaquira Speaks
COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL)- September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time to share resources and stories in an effort to save lives.
One man put together a grassroots project to help people in his community deal with suicide prevention and mental health.
It’s a story you’ll only see on News 3.
Mental Health and Suicide Awareness is something that Lorenzo Lewis and Darnell Rice take seriously.
So much so that they go from city-to-city raising awareness and handing out information on how to get help or be an advocate.
“I always tell people about my story of going through depression and issues that I went through with anger as a youth. Also I was worked in behavioral health for a decade so my journey of personal and professional were able to marry each other,” said Lorenzo Lewis, founder and CEO of the Confess Project.
Lewis founded the Confess Project. His goal is to primarily reach the African American community due to the recent upsurge in mental health issues.
He says the one place that all black men and women go to is the barber and beauty shop, so why not have licensed counseling professionals that also cut and style hair? “It’s about the front line people that we come in contact with, not only young men of color, but also our people in our community that need the help the most,” said Darnell Rice, project manager of the Confess Project. Lewis held a mental health forum introducing the Confess project at the Columbus Public Library on Sunday.
He allowed folks to share their stories.
Darnell Rice was one of them.
“The Confess Project has been a beacon for me, mentally, socially and personally because I suffer from mental illness, depression and also my mother, she was bipolar and schizophrenic. So it’s very personal for me,” Rice said.
“We’ve seen a 90% overall increased satisfaction from our participants that enter our program. Even from our gatherings and our convenings that we do, people are able to go get help. People are able to live a life of wellness and be the best version of themselves,” said Lewis.
Lewis partnered with Columbus Public Health and K 92.7 to bring the Confess Project to Columbus.
If you or someone you may know needs help dealing with mental health, help is available now! Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You’ll also find additional online resources such as Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).