The Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males (ICSSBM) will be coordinating the Annual Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative for its Ninth year. The ICSSBM, along with hundreds of volunteers, sponsors, local commissions and community partners seeks to enlighten African American men to better understand the potential risk factors in their health through screening and education. The Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative (IBBHI) will provide these health screenings and education across the state, on different Saturdays throughout the month of April from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year there are fifteen different cities and more than 50 different barbershops across the state that will be participating. Each community on their scheduled Saturday will offer all customers free health screening measuring things like blood glucose and blood pressure. Each participant will also be given additional informational handouts on healthy lifestyles and exercise. Recent figures from the Indiana Department of Health show African American men have the highest mortality rate of any group in Indiana. African American men also suffer from prostate cancer at a higher level in Indiana than any other racial or ethnic group. Bottom line is, many feel that what they don’t know won’t hurt them, however, the truth is what you don’t know CAN kill you when it comes to your health. By providing these free screenings we not only let the participants know what their health risks are, but also provide the resource material to get proper medical attention to address them.
The participating cities include: East Chicago, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Hammond, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville, Kokomo, Merrillville, Michigan City, New Albany, South Bend and Terre Haute.
The Kick-Off event will be held on April 5th, at the Charles Black Recreation Center, in South Bend Indiana from 5-8 pm and will include free health screenings and haircuts by local volunteer barbers.