Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, importance for minorities

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — June is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and with some still practicing social isolation due to COVID, the loneliness can impact communities in many ways.

Some experts say black Americans are more likely to report persistent symptoms of emotional distress than white Americans.

According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, only one in three Blacks who need mental health care receive it.

“Finding someone that you can talk to. I tell people that everybody needs a mental health professional in their life no their cousins, their aunties, but someone who is trained,” said Gloria Cisse, a licensed counselor and social worker.

Cisse says finding a therapist helps.

However, Cisse says some within the black community do not believe in mental health issues. But black people have the same number of mental illnesses as other races.

Cisse says black people also have additional stressors like racism, discrimination. They also experience symptoms associated with traumatic events like sexual assault or family violence.

“We often tell our children what happens in this house stays in this house and it’s troubling,” said Audrea Cooke, a marriage and family therapist.

With the continuous rise in COVID cases, social distancing, and self-isolation top of the list for safety measures.

Licensed therapist D. Renee Smith says you can turn this trying time into a positive one by not focusing on the negative.  You can do this by changing your mindset around certain events happening in our lives.

Smith said, “If you feel like you have not accomplished something, reframing those thoughts to help you be able to strengthen your mental health.”

Cooke will host a mental retreat called Elevate to help boost mental wellness.

Event information

The all-day retreat happens on July 25 starting at 10 a.m.

For more information visit Elevatemacon.com