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NFL Lockout Aside, Patriots Aaron Hernandez Leads Latino Mental Health Awareness Day

ATLANTA - AUGUST 19:  Tight end Aaron Hernandez #85 of the New England Patriots jogs off of the field during halftime during the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on August 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

ATLANTA - AUGUST 19: Tight end Aaron Hernandez #85 of the New England Patriots jogs off of the field during halftime during the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on August 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

New England Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez kicked off activities for National Mental Health Awareness Month with events for students that focused on Latino Mental Health on Friday.

Hernandez, shared stories from his own life, with the nearly 120 Elementary school kids. The NFL star stressed the importance of taking care of both mind and emotions because they are, in his words, as important as taking care of their bodies.

The event on Friday was an effort to raise awareness of mental health issues as well as to spotlight the need for more mental health providers who can care for the Latino populations. The Lucero Latino Mental Health Program at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP), is one program that is concentrating on the need to train professionals who can culturally and linguistically relate to the caring of Latinos.

According to the organization, approximately two percent of psychologists in the US are capable of doing just that.

Hernandez, at age 20, was the youngest player in the NFL in 2010. He is a Puerto Rican American, who found himself balancing the emotional toll of watching his own father die when he was 16. The sociology major played football at the University of Florida.

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