Town Hall to Address Mental Health Issues Among African Americans
Wednesday September 22, 2010
A town hall meeting designed to overcome the stigma of seeking treatment for mental health issues, particularly among African Americans, will be held Tuesday September 28 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Bates Memorial Baptist Church located at 620 E. Lampton St. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
“Numerous studies indicate that African Americans are just as much at risk for mental illness as their white counterparts, yet they receive substantially less treatment.” said Dr. Monique Upton, a psychiatrist at the University of Louisville.
“Many African Americans underestimate the impact of mental disorders and believe that symptoms such as depression are just the blues. Issues of distrust in the health care system and mental illness stigma frequently lead African Americans to not seek mental health services at all or to seek mental health support from non-medical sources. Tuesday’s town hall meeting is our inaugural event to begin to overcome the stigma of seeking treatment and to let people know what resources are available,” said Dr. Upton.
The program for Tuesday’s event will include a testimonial by Judge Sadiqa Reynolds and a panel discussion that will include psychiatrists Dr. Monique Upton, Dr. Kelley Singletary-Jones, Dr. Alphonso Nichols and Dr. Robert Frierson. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers.
The event is sponsored by the STigma Reduction/ Access/Awareness/R
esources (STAAR) Wellness Project, a coalition of the University of Louisville Department of Psychiatry and the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. Bates Memorial Baptist Church and Pi Lambda Omega of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will host the event.