The Confess Project Metro Atlanta joins MTV for Third Annual Mental Health Action Day
ATLANTA (WUPA) – Cosmetology students joined The Confess Project Metro Atlanta and MTV to take action against mental illness with a hair competition.
Alayshia Kingsberry is among the student cosmetologists taking classes at the Health and Style Institute, where they're having big conversations about hair, skin and mental health.
"If we can help them here, it will take them further, because everything starts in the mind," she said, about helping clients.
Kingsberry and other students have joined hands with The Confess Project Metro Atlanta to heal others.
"We serve as barbers to become mental health advocates, so as of recently as of January 2023, we have now opened up to the beauty industry, which led us here to Health and Style Institute," said Ursula Berger, the director of membership and engagement for The Confess Project Metro Atlanta.
The organization participated in the MTV Entertainment Studios Mental Health Action Day last year, working with local Black barbers, and it participated again this year by holding a competition at the cosmetology school.
"The competition we had is called the Healing Hair Battle, and so the themes were the four pillars of The Confess Project that we [use to] train the barbers and beauticians," she said.
The four pillars are active listening, positive communication, validation and reducing mental health stigma. The competition was held on Monday, in advance of National Mental Health Action Day, which was recognized on May 18.
Berger said about 80 people attended the event, and three teams competed.
"It consisted of hair stylists and makeup artists, and then they would have their models," said Berger, describing the members of each team. "We let them talk about, 'What pillar did they choose, and then second, why did they choose it,' and some of the stories that we heard were amazing."
Educators are teaching students how to clip away at the dead ends and stigmas of mental illness.
"It is a real thing, such as depression, such as anxiety. I want us to be able to talk about and don't be ashamed about it," said Markita Gibson, an aesthetics educator.
For more information on The Confess Project Metro Atlanta, click here: https://www.theconfessprojectatl.org/
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