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A LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER

Devin Smith

Executive Director/Founder of Lifted KC

Hello! Who would have ever thought that this would be MY life? In 2016, I started Lifted KC with the intent to help women who suffered from postpartum depression after experiencing it for myself after the birth of my son! It wasn't easy, I actually had to speak with several therapists until I found the one that specializes in postpartum depression. It was in that moment that I said I want to do something so that no one has to experience so many obstacles just to get help.

 As I dove into the healing journey for myself, I became fascinated with thought of seeing others heal. I started advocating and learning as much as I could to better help my community. As I began stepping in rooms for trainings, I noticed the education, statistics and resources were typical spoken for women and children, along with majority of the facilitators being women as well!

It then dawned on me that throughout my life, I have witnessed the profound impact that mental health challenges can have on individuals and their families. These experiences have not been limited to women; many of the men in my life have struggled in silence, often feeling unable to express their emotions or seek help due to societal expectations and stigmas surrounding male vulnerability.

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Why Lifted KC Matters...

Men are frequently taught from a young age to suppress their feelings and to equate emotional expression with weakness. This cultural norm can lead to devastating consequences, including higher rates of substance abuse, depression, and suicide among men. The statistics are stark and sobering, yet the conversation around men's mental health remains relatively muted.

As a woman, I have been inspired by the courage of the men who have shared their stories with me. Their vulnerability has underscored the necessity for a supportive space where men can openly discuss their mental health without fear of judgment. I believe that by creating a nonprofit dedicated to this cause, we can begin to dismantle the harmful stereotypes and foster a community that prioritizes mental well-being for everyone.

Lifted KC will offer resources such as counseling, conferences, support groups, and educational workshops specifically tailored to men's mental health needs. We aim to provide a safe and welcoming environment where men can find the support and understanding they need to navigate their mental health journeys. Additionally, we will work to raise awareness and educate the broader community about the importance of addressing men's mental health issues.

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Sharing My Heart...

Starting LKC is not just a professional endeavor; it is a deeply personal mission. I am committed to being an ally and advocate for men’s mental health, and I believe that together, we can make a significant difference.

 

As a woman that is not licensed as a therapist, I will never say I can teach a man how to heal - but with my love, passion and gift of nurturing, I can definitely guide them into the spaces and connect them to the resources that can!

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Niyko Baker - President

Gary Mitchell- Vice President

Denitricia Johnson - Treasurer

Christine Burks

Aja Owens

Tanisha Chikwe

Teianna Cooper

Deaunte Thomas

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