The Mississippi Link Newswire
During July, Alpha Kappa Alpha women across the country will take part in Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Named after Bebe Moore Campbell, an accomplished author, activist, and an honorary Alpha Kappa Alpha member, July is a month to focus on building awareness about the importance of mental wellness and effective mental health care within minority communities.
To observe Minority Mental Health Month in Jackson, Miss., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Rho Lambda Omega chapter and the National Alliance on Mental Illness hosted its third minority mental health town hall meeting on Saturday, July 23. Seventy-five people attended the town hall meeting, which was held at the Jackson Medical Mall from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. licensed professionals discussed mental health issues that affect children….particularly children of color. This included: misdiagnosis, over-diagnosis, stigma, medication, and the emotional effect of Black Death images via social media and television.
“This is our third town hall meeting focusing on minority mental health,” said Sharon Bridges, Esq., president, Rho Lambda Omega chapter. “We chose to focus on children’s mental health in order to provide assistance to families and educators.” Panelists included: August Patton, LPC, Hinds Behavioral Health Services; Talya Straughter, National Certified Counselor, Hinds County Behavioral Health Services; Tasha Smith, licensed Family Therapist, Marion Counseling Services; Christiane Williams, corrections chair, City of Jackson Reentry Task Force Corrections Committee; and Colibri Jenkins, MD, board certified psychiatrist.
The event also featured a “Ride against Stigma.” The “Ride against Stigma” was implemented by the Friends of Fallen Riders Motorcycle Club. “This was the first time our chapter has hosted a bike ride in order to raise awareness for an AKA program,” said Jennie Hall, co-chairman, Health Promotions. Friends of Fallen Riders met at Save-A-Lot and rode through the City of Jackson to the town hall meeting at the medical mall. “Friends of Fallen Riders are well-known for providing community service throughout the Jackson area. We were excited to expand our reach by partnering with them.” The town hall was interactive and allowed for questions/answers, free mental health assessments, and the participation in the AKA/NAMI social media campaigns.
The Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Town Hall meeting was a collaborative effort between: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Rho Lambda Omega Chapter, Ebony Pearls Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Tougaloo College Owens Health and Wellness Center, Hinds County Behavior Health Systems, Friends of Fallen Riders, and Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, Inc.
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