Community Dialogue and Resource Fair with Law Enforcement, Faith Leaders, Educators and Mental Health Providers to Improve the Health of the Community to Show the Way to Mental Wellness for African Americans in East Contra Costa County
WHAT: Mental health challenges facing African Americans, especially at-risk youth, will be the focus of “This Way to a Healthy Community,” a powerful community event that brings youth and family members together in open dialogue with law enforcement, mental health providers, educators, and spiritual leaders to find ways to improve the mental wellness of young African Americans. This community dialogue is a first step in creating a platform for key stakeholders to learn to recognize the “signs” of mental health challenges and to begin to build partnerships that provide culturally responsive resources to address those needs.
WHY: According to the CA Department of Corrections, 28.4 percent of all incarcerated juveniles in 2013 were African American, even though African Americans comprise only 6.6% of the state’s total population. Unfortunately, law enforcement often fails to recognize the signs of serious emotional distress and takes action in a way that criminalizes youth, but does not address their underlying problems. Many African-American youth live in an atmosphere of persistent trauma that requires advanced mental health support, but don’t seek care or get needed treatment because of the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health challenges. Finally, the lack of access to culturally responsive services also influences many African Americans to be wary of seeking needed help from the traditional mental health system.
WHERE: PREWETT FAMILY PARK (at the Antioch Water Park)
4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, CA 94531
WHEN: Saturday, April 5, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Program: 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
Lunch and Resource Fair: 12:30 p.m.- 1:30 p.m.
WHO: Mental health professionals, law enforcement, faith leaders, educators, community leaders and youth
“This Way to a Healthy Community” is administered by California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) which is funded by the voter approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63). CalMHSA is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. CalMHSA operates services and education programs on a statewide, regional and local basis. For more information, visit www.calmhsa.org.