Guest Contributor: Malcom Merriweather II
Fitness and Mental Health Enthusiast
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
Black mental health to me is the key that opens the door to stability and serenity. Your mental health is just as important as your physical and spiritual health. It all requires constant maintenance and attention in order to be full as a person.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
I promote change and well-being in the Black community by being the change I want to see. I strive to break every stereotype that society has set for us Black men. I always carry myself as if a younger person is watching. I want them to look at me with admiration and trust that I’m doing the right thing.
Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?
I am God-taught. When I say that I mean I literally only had God leading me to the area I am now. I started my weight loss and mental health journey all on my own. I then started teaching my ways to the people in my apartment complex. That lead to me getting a job at Mercedes-Benz where I help people not only get in shape physically but mentally as well.
What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise (yoga instructor, clergy, mental health professional, etc.)?
I promote mental health through love of your physical health. Once you learn to love who you are on the inside. It becomes easier to love yourself on the outside. So when you see imperfections in your body, they don’t become things that tear you down. They instead become areas that you see yourself able to improve.
What are some things that we should know about your area of expertise?
I am a loving trainer which is extremely hard to find. I believe that anyone who is brave enough to exercise their mental or physical health in public is a hero in my eyes. They get my full respect and attention in all areas.
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?
By providing platforms for people to express their concerns. A safe place is all that is needed for a healthy mind.
What are your recommendations for ending stigma in the Black community?
Be above the stigmas. Be sure to set yourself above every stereotype and stigma that is in front of us. If we do that, then soon all those stigmas will be beneath us.
What can potential clients expect during an initial session? Follow up sessions?
They can expect to receive a foundation. Once they leave the first session feeling secure, the follow up session will begin the rebuilding stage to a better them.
Do you have an experience with seeking mental health treatment that you would like to share with the Black Mental Wellness audience?
I tried my first rounds of true therapy last year. It was honestly the best thing I have ever done. I learned so much about myself as far as repressed thoughts, emotions, and experiences. I went through them and learned how to accept the things I couldn’t change while learning the tools to correct the things I can.
How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?
The same way I make time to be on time for a job that doesn’t care about me as a person. You make time for what is important. Mental health and self-care is just as important as hitting that clock every day.
What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?
Talk it out
Write it out
My name is Malcom T. Merriweather Il. I am from from Forkland, Alabama. I received an associate degree in Applied Science from Shelton State. In 2016, I started my fitness journey and through my research, training, and hard efforts, I lost over 90lbs. This weight loss served as fuel to my passion to motivate others to lose weight, increase their self-esteem, and take control of their lifestyle, both physically and mentally. I enjoy weightlifting, traveling, and mentoring the youth. I am moved to share my experiences and thoughts about mental health with others, and I look forward to leading. I just want the world to be better, one person at a time.