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BJ Williams Strives to Make Mental Health Accessible Through a Mobile Company

“I want mental health to be so accessible, so easily affordable. I want these men to feel vulnerable enough to seek that help, just like anything else,” said Williams.

BJ Williams, founder of Can I be Vulnerable (CIBV), combines a popular business model with compassion and creates something amazing. His easy-going, unique and inclusive approach to accessing mental health brings necessary services to the block.

Can I Be Vulnerable is a mobile mental health care service, which launched in March and works with low-income families and communities of color in Los Angeles, ensuring access to all. Developed from the docuseries of the same name, Williams’ goal was to meet the need, with a unique solution, pulling up.

But this all started with Williams sharing his experiences with loss and his successes with therapy on social media, asking the question, Can I Be Vulnerable? Having no issues with opening up himself, he knew others did.

In 2019, Williams started a docuseries highlighting his experiences and those of friends, peers and other Black men who have battled with mental wellness. Growing organically, Williams attributes the success of CIBV to keeping it simple and providing a safe space for men to open up. “What I’ve learned is that people, especially men, really do want and respond to mental wellness and mental wellbeing. And obviously, there are still stigmas. You have some people that are like nah, but the more I do this work, the more I understand that men actually love to talk,” said Williams.

And the reaction to his work has been powerful, garnering the attention of notable Black athletes and actors who are encouraged to share their stories too. Identifying with the experiences of other men who are viewed as strong by society’s standards, helps Williams connect with men of color.

Out of necessity and being willing to “pull up”, CIBV became mobile. Through Camp Connected, a mental wellness camp that brings mental, emotional, and behavioral health experts, along with yoga and other mindfulness activities to south LA, CIBV is impacting lives. “With this bus, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. All they wanna know is can you bring it here? When are you coming here? It’s overwhelming in a good way,” said Williams who sees expansion as possible.

One of the few, yet major, hurdles for the mental health business is funding. Williams who funded 90 percent of this initiative himself, albeit worth it, is currently seeking funding to do more. “I can see this going so many ways and I don’t know how it will evolve because what we’re doing hasn’t been done,” said Williams. Williams envisions multiple buses and cities utilizing his business model to help better serve their communities. “I want it to be as accessible as fitness.”

From sharing his story online to impacting men of color across the country, Williams sees this as a purpose served. “It’s funny because I’m actually doing what I want. I set this goal in 2019 and here I am a few years later and I’ve done it.” Williams believes easing access to mental health services removes the stigma and helps Black men be more understanding of themselves and others while giving men a safe space to heal. “It’s a necessary thing. I had some ideas. I was able to see them to fruition so, mission accomplished.”

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1 Comment

James Siverson
James Siverson
Dec 22, 2022

These advice are quite useful. I made an effort to tidy up my place, which boosted my mental health. Since our family connections had been strained throughout the confinement, I also received calmerry . And we required an expert's assistance right away.

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