Music Program in Kent, Ohio, Helps Black Boys and Young Men Address and Improve Their Mental Health

A new program launched in the Kent City School District is helping Black boys and men address and improve their mental health. But they’re not just doing it through words, they’re also using music to find a light through the darkness.

“We are uplifting each other in the best way possible,” said K’vyayer Hill, a junior at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent.

Hill is enrolled in the Cope Dealer Initiative, a mental health awareness workshop recently launched at the school.

It’s a 10-week program designed to address areas of mental health impacting Black boys and men, and offer them healthy ways to cope with their stress.

“The program corresponds with really your life because it can take some of the really cool techniques and stuff that they use for mental health and we kind of just apply that to our lives,” said Hill.

Archie Green, hip-hop artist and founder of non-profit “Peel Dem Layers Back,” created the program. It’s based on his most recent album ‘Cope Dealer’ released in July 2021 which talks about the trauma, PTSD, depression, and anxiety that many Black men face.

“Then it turned into this course curriculum where we talk about the content of the album. We go through these songs, we analyze these lyrics, and then we apply them to these young men’s lives. Then, they take what they’ve learned and they apply it to their art form of music,” said Green.

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SOURCE: News 5 Cleveland, Jade Jarvis