Love, Peace and Soul Retreat Marks 5-Year Anniversary of Mental Health Counseling Services
by James Coulter
For the past five years, Pieces to Peace Counseling has been helping improve the mental health of its clients by offering a full range of affordable counseling services. To celebrate their fifth anniversary, as well as raise awareness for men’s health, they will be hosting a free retreat in Downtown Auburndale this Saturday.
The outdoor event will be hosted at Auburndale’s Downtown City Park on Sat., June 26, from 9 am to 12 pm. According to the event’s press release: “The purpose of the free retreat is to provide resources to Polk’s African American community in the areas of mental, physical, and spiritual health.”
The free retreat will include two yoga classes, one of which will be led by a black male yoga instructor. The festivities will also offer other resources and services, including a wellness panel discussion, food trucks serving vegan soul food and Jamaican cuisine, free haircuts provided by Jairus Rutherford, owner of Second 2 None Barber Shop, along with other vendors, exhibits, and live music.
Aside from offering vending opportunities for locals, especially within the African American community, attendees can improve their mental, physical, and spiritual health, the free retreat will also celebrate Men’s Health Month by focusing on men’s health issues, especially for black men.
“I believe male culture and the media portray expectations for men to be strong like superheroes and rarely show signs of weakness,” said Antionette Pollard, founder of Pieces to Peace and mental health counselor. “This socially ingrained mindset subconsciously trains men to believe that going to the doctor exhibits weakness.”
Pollard started Pieces to Peace Counseling five years ago in Auburndale. However, due to a fire in the restaurant located downstairs from her practice, she has moved their location to Lakeland. She wanted to pay homage to the city that provided her business a great foundation, which is why the retreat is held in Auburndale.
“My goal is to educate the community and bring awareness to health issues,” she said. “Getting men to take charge of their health is a great challenge and an even greater challenge in the African American community.”
Pollard expects to educate attendees on the importance of men’s health and mental health through her event. Regardless of your gender, or if you are facing any current health issues, she hopes that attendees will at least have their awareness of prevention raised on these health issues and become educated about them.
“Attending the retreat will give you an opportunity to participate in activities you might not be familiar with and learn about health issues affecting our community,” she said. “Therefore, it gives you the opportunity to engage, educate yourself, and be proactive and once we can educate ourselves, we can also educate others.”
Love, Peace and Soul Retreat will be hosted on Sat., June 26, from 9 am to 12 pm at Downtown Auburndale City Park, located at 119 W Park St, Auburndale, FL 33823. For more info, visit their website at: https://lpsretreat.com