Dequan Starnes (Q-Starnes)
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
Mental wellness means so much to me because I just think us meaning (our people) in general has went through so many things as a race and overcame so much I don't think we take the time to actually self evaluate ourselves and focus in on our mental health the way we should. If you look around at all the things we've been through as a whole anybody would know we've been through a lot mentally especially being that most of us are trapped in oppression. Or came from tough backgrounds mental wellness is everything because that's something systematically that we're not taught growing up or even considered. They teach us one way tough be tough or hide our true feelings and conceal our sensitive side and we become stuck in our routine of generational lessons and going to church is the only way we're taught to deal with our mental health. But it definitely runs way deeper than that because many times in the church upbringing you have to uphold a certain image in front of your church family so many times your real feelings or things you're dealing with mentally are never addressed. When in church you should be the most transparent but a lot of times you're afraid of the judgement. So to me mental wellness is everything which is why I wrote my new record "You're Enough" to began with.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
I promote change and well being in the community by simply being transparent in my music and-or interviews and self help podcasts about my own struggles and how I had to better myself and overcame my trials and tribulations I show and promote that by living a positive and healthy lifestyle as a reflection for people that look like me to see and follow as a blue print to success. I've also developed many relationships with local organizations and schools that tutor and educate and guide student athletes on how to do better academically in the classroom and take care of themselves both physically and mentally it all coincides together. Iv'e coached at many different basketball organizations and help guide the careers of athletes from adolescents ages up to college. So I definitely have played a major role in this community promoting change and wellbeing for sure.