Florida Health Department starting men’s health education barbershop series

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 4:34 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida Health Department in Leon County is using the month of June to educate men, boys and families about male preventative disease, healthy lifestyles and more.

The DOH’s team is partnering with local barbershops this month, Men’s Health Awareness Month, to bring information and health education to what they describe as an open, frank and trusted communication setting.

The first barbershop they picked to host their first information session was Intrigue Barbershop.

“Being an African American male, I go into my communities and I see how health and the conversation about health need to be brought to the forefront,” said Eugene Larry, Intrigue Barbershop owner.

Larry said he has seen the need for health education in the African American community and has raised concerns about alcoholism and drug abuse and the “condition and appearance” of some of his fellow African Americans.

“We have young men at the age of 25, 30 dying of heart attacks,” Larry said. “If we look at history, the barbershop and the black church, they have always been the leaders to get information out to the community.”

Larry said he takes the time to listen to his male customers when they come in, and whether it’s supporting physical or mental health he wants to be an ally.

“Hearing other people’s perspective may be able to help you with whatever situation you may be going through,” Larry said. “Never fear, it’s good to always get a second opinion.”

Also in attendance at the barbershop, Jerry Smith with Well Pack Pharmacy said he wants to be a “resource navigator” for African Americans and health education.

“When people don’t take their medicine they don’t get their proper feedback,” Smith said. “There are different reasons that people don’t take their medicine that I find out in home that they don’t like the way the medicine tastes.”

As part of their promotional series, the Leon County Health Department will be holding informational sessions at barbershops across the city every Friday in June. They’ll be at Fade Barbershop next Friday from 1 pm to 3 pm.

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