COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The African American Male Wellness Agency held a Brotherhood Brunch Saturday to help break the stigma when it comes to African American men and mental health.

Columbus faith-based organizations came together with the agency to talk about mental wellness.

Pastors and faith leaders were able to get free training on mental health to bring that knowledge back to their congregations.

The brunch was also held to promote the agency’s biggest event – the African American Male Wellness 5K Run and Walk, set for August.

The goal is to have 50,000 people at the walk this year, held to raise money to provide African American men and their families with free healthcare services.

The walk focuses on physical health, providing medical check ups, dental and vision exams, but agency leaders said mental health is just as important to the Black community, making the brunch an important launch pad for the walk.

“So, this allows us to just kind of rally the troops all year,” said Keith Pickett, mental awareness program manager for the agency. “The faith-based organizations are a huge part of everything we do, and we want to also talk to them today about creating a passion team; that way, their congregation can come out, get some t-shirts together and just walk in unison at the walk.”

The African American Male Wellness Walk is set for Saturday, Aug. 12, at Livingston Park. It will be the event’s 20 th anniversary.