Brother Be Well Wellness for Boys and Men of Color

MBK Sacramento youth aspire to greater heights

Empowering youth from My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento to understand ACEs, work through trauma, and know their power in navigating public and private health and mental healthcare systems.

Being aware of problems is the first step toward change. Say, “I will practice self-care and change the way I handle challenges this year,” and mean it.



Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, and managed by Sierra Health Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Sacramento, this project addressed the priority Community Health Need of Mental Health and Wellness. The activities introduced youth to community supports to help mitigate the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) by enhancing My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Sacramento Youth Mental Health by developing an interactive component that helps youth navigate the healthcare system, both public and private. 

This project engaged young males of color who have experienced social emotional trauma to work as change agents to remove barriers to accessing mental health supports, increase the cultural responsiveness of mental health services for youth of color, and increase their ability to navigate systems to get the healthcare they need.

Check out this video featuring MBK Sacramento youth!


What Are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have a direct impact on health and opportunity across the lifespan. ACEs are disturbing experiences, or trauma, suffered during childhood. This program informed youth about ACEs, helping them to identify toxic stress in their lives.

Although trauma may appear to have subsided, what is taken in at a young age often manifests itself much later in life. Youth were exposed to ACEs experts, took surveys, and watched Brother Be Well’s multimedia ACEs productions for deeper understanding.

While children of color, and especially African American/ Black and Latinx children, are disproportionately affected by ACEs, any child can experience the sustained toxic stress (the body’s response to serious stress) that is associated with untreated trauma. Such people often suffer negative mental and physical health effects.

For more information, visit our Adverse Childhood Experiences page. Our trauma-focused multimedia sheds light on what causes trauma and how to overcome, along with stories of trauma and resilience.

How Well Do You Take Care of Yourself?

Considering the amount of stress and trauma one can sustain, self-care is essential to healing from the numerous stressors in our daily lives. It provides a respite that promotes mental resilience. It starts with becoming more in tune with our emotions, and results in improved communication and relationships, as well as our overall physical health (blood pressure, chronic pain, sleep patterns, etc.).

The MBK Sacramento youth took a deep dive into self-care, participating in interactive exercises, and sharing their best ideas. Everyone understood the importance of needing to refresh and repair. We also offered mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing videos and exercises to the youth.

Self-care is simply taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s doing what you need to do to get your needs met. Get out in nature. Play your favorite sport. Listen to music. Breathe. These activities and more can be instant remedies to the effects of stress in your life. For ideas on how to maximize your self-care routine, please visit our Self-Care page.

Do You Know What Your Healthcare System Has To Offer?

Public Healthcare Insurance

On your journey toward optimal health and mental wellness, it will be important to know how to navigate public and private healthcare systems. Public healthcare options include those covered by Medicaid, or Medi-Cal in the State of California. Your household income cannot be over a set level to qualify. If you are uninsured, we encourage you to consider the benefits of having health insurance for you and your family. Look to for more information.

Private Healthcare Insurance

Private healthcare insurance can be purchased, but is usually employer-provided. Options include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs). Start with your Primary Care Provider (PCP). Check on available mental health services. If you are managing health conditions, or need more specialized care, go with a PPO if that option is available. Care from HMOs is more wide-ranged and not usually tied to specific healthcare providers. Understanding Health Insurance by Kaiser Permanente gives insights into the benefits of coverage, regardless of financial status.

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