Photo courtesy of James Harris
“This movement encourages men to pay more attention to their mental and physical health, communicate effectively, and increase their knowledge of self.”
James Harris is a father and a serial entrepreneur based in Richmond, Virginia. As a U.S. Army veteran who served for eight years and took two deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, James has seen how mental health issues have affected families and communities. Now a licensed mental health professional and therapist, James has created a movement that encourages men to start taking care of their overall wellness, mental health, and physical health. “This movement encourages men to pay more attention to their mental and physical health, communicate effectively, and increase their knowledge of self,” he explains. Coined Men to Heal, James hosts sessions in the community and via Skype with people around the nation and in other countries— e.g., the UK (Manchester, England), Spain, Germany, Amsterdam, and Afghanistan. To bring more awareness to the mental health movement, James has also created Men to Heal t-shirts and apparel to help him bring awareness to the issue. James also has a YouTube channel called Men to Heal to provide insight to men, families, and professionals in the field.
Man, Just Express Yourself!: An Interactive Planner Guide for MEN, Young and Old
In 2019, James knew it wasn’t enough to just have virtual sessions with patients, so he created The HEALing Hub community center in Richmond, Virginia. The center provides outpatient therapy, massage, yoga, mindfulness, and financial literacy seminars. The HEALing Hub also provides free meals for the less fortunate every third Sunday. Before COVID, James hosted quarterly two hour sessions with around 65 attendees. He hopes to resume these in-person sessions again soon.
James is actively promoting his first book, an interactive journal titled Man, Just Express Yourself!: An Interactive Planner Guide for MEN, Young and Old, and growing his Men to Heal YouTube channel. “My insight and knowledge can serve as a tool to assist families,” James says. “The lasting effects of COVID are going to have a tremendous impact on the mental health of people all over.” He sees his book as benefiting young men in particular and believes introspection is vital to growing mentally. He hopes young boys can take the lessons they’ve learned in his interactive journal well into adulthood. “Oftentimes when mental health is discussed, men tend to be overlooked because of a lack of male healthcare providers and personal male issues like ego and embarrassment,” says James. “I’m bridging the gap.”