Mindful Beauty was founded in 2016 by Janae Oliver, a former student and graduate of the Master's of Public Health, Urban Health Disparities Program at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine (CDU) and Science. During her studies at CDU, Janae discovered limited data and literature on Black women and mental health and wanted to learn more about the topic. Through her research, she found a disparity in early mental health diagnosis and access to services, with a higher percentage of Black and Latina women at risk for major depression when compared to White and Asian women. Much of this was due to stigma, stereotypes, and mistrust of the health care system. She also found there were not enough culturally competent programs and services to address the psychosocial trauma of slavery that impacted multi-generations of Black women.
Growing up in a household with a sister who is a hair stylist, she recalled the coveted relationship and inherit trust between hair stylists and their clients with hair stylists often being relied upon as a sort of 'therapist.' After consulting with her sister, she envisioned a program that would train hair stylists on the signs and symptoms of depression in their clients.
Working with a team of students in a program planning and evaluation course, they designed the Mindful Beauty program components - creating a mock program curriculum, logic models, an evaluation plan, and a budget. In the Spring of 2018, Janae partnered with Professor Cynthia Davis to write a grant to the National Institutes of Health and the Mindful Beauty Collaborative was birthed.
The Mindful Beauty Collaborative consists of:
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU)
CDU is a private, nonprofit, community-founded, student-centered University committed to cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, clinical service and community engagement. Primary role and responsibilities include: grants management and project oversight; evaluation of outcomes including data collection, statistical analysis, and report writing; and community presentation of findings.
Black Beauty Shop Health Foundation (BBSHF)
BBSHF is a National grassroots organization that seeks to train and provide ongoing support to participating salons, their clients and surrounding neighborhoods so that we bridge the gap in health disparities in our communities across the country. Primary role and responsibilities include: identifying and recruiting hair salons, champions and hair stylists for participation in the program; branding and marketing; and event planning. BBSHF is a part of the training classes and follows up with the stylist throughout the year to provide educational information updates, surveys and promo items.
California Black Women's Health Project (CABWHP)
CABWHP is the only 501(c)(3) non-profit organization solely dedicated to improving the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional health of California's Black women and girls through advocacy, education, policy, and outreach. We believe a healthier future is possible when women are empowered to make choices in an environment where equal access and health justice are community priorities. Primary role and responsibilities include: created and refined the Mindful Beauty training curriculum, facilitates all training modules using an advocacy focus and Sister-Circle model of engagement, and provides program consultation and planning.
KP is one of the largest nonprofit health care delivery systems whose mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and communities it serves. Through its Community Health Programs of Southern California, KP awarded an $80,000 grant to pilot Mindful Beauty over the next three years. Primary role and responsibilities include: funding and technical assistance through the Center for Nonprofit Management.
Improving the Mental Health Narrative
An Initiative Addressing Racial and Gender Disparities
in Depression Diagnosis in Los Angeles County
“Given that Black women visit hair salons an average of 2.5 times a month, which is at least 30 times a year, the beauty shop is an ideal place to educate women and equip them with practical tools to improve their health."
-Margo LaDrew, founder and executive director
Black Beauty Shop Health Foundation
Reduce mental health stigma and increase quality of life for Black women in South Los Angeles.
Black women are knowledgeable of the signs and symptoms of depression, aware of available mental health services, and not afraid to seek help.
A community-based collaborative seeking to reduce stigma and depression among Black women in South Los Angeles.