The stigma surrounding mental illness in the Black community persists and Alpha Magazine’s CEO Luciano Layne is looking to change that. Layne has launched a digital magazine platform known as Alpha Magazine as an avenue to empower Black men and women to take charge of their mental health.
Alpha Magazines’ desire is to post self-care tips and speaking engagements on how to align members of the African American communities with therapists and other mental health professionals who provide culturally sensitive mental health services. Layne’s personal battles with mental health inspired him to create this platform. While trying to seek help to cope with daily trepidations of mental health complexities, he ran into several roadblocks. The journey to find the right therapist was taxing and he nearly gave up. Through Alpha Magazine, he wants to provide men with a sense of hope and show them that it’s possible to overcome their mental struggles.
Alpha Magazine CEO, Layne, believes black men are having a unique experience in this country. And, while he doesn’t believe that you have to be a black therapist to treat black people, or be apart of the community, he does believe that individuals have to be culturally sensitive and competent. Layne believes it’s naive to think that the experiences that black men have just on a normal day are good for their emotional and mental health. He also understands that the experiences can be traumatic and can have a negative impact on the emotional well-being, physical health, in some cases, life expectancy of the black man.
Layne plans to launch the Alpha Mental Health Coalition in months to come to make seeking mental health services more relatable for men and women all over the country. He hopes to evoke dialogue about relatability to mental health services in communities of color and increase the life expectancy of black men and women through the services provided.
Platforms like Alpha Magazines are needed in the Black community. According to Black Enterprise, less than 3 percent of therapists are people of color.