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Inaugural Black Mental Health Summit Paves the Way for Healing and Advocacy

Alexia Mitchell

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Black Mental Health Summit, taking place on May 17, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at The Enterprise Events & Conference Center in downtown Winston-Salem. This groundbreaking event is the first of its kind and is gearing up to make a lasting impact on our community. 

This summit shines a light on the importance of prioritizing mental health and specific issues facing the black community, improving wellness all around. To give a close look at the event and what attendees can expect, we interviewed the founder, Alexia Mitchell, a licensed clinical therapist-associate and the owner of Reset and Heal, LLC. The summit underscores her commitment to providing equitable access to mental health services for women and minorities in the Triad. 

What is your biggest “why” for deciding to create and host the Black Mental Health Summit? 

I recognized the urgent need to address mental health issues within the black community – a demographic often disproportionately affected by mental health challenges yet facing significant barriers to accessing care. This initiative likely aims to dismantle the stigma surrounding mental health, encourage open dialogues and provide culturally sensitive resources and support. By bringing together mental health professionals, community leaders and individuals with lived experiences, the summit seeks to foster a supportive environment where participants can learn, share and find pathways to healing and resilience. 

What do you specifically hope to achieve with this initiative? 

Ultimately, my hope is to promote mental wellness, advocate for equitable mental health services and empower the black community to prioritize mental health.

What aspects of mental health do you feel are particularly significant for the black community, and how will the summit address these issues?

The mental health of the black community is influenced by several significant factors, including   systemic racism, socio-economic disparities and historical trauma, all of which necessitate a tailored approach to support and healing. The intersectionality of race, economic status and exposure to racism can lead to unique mental health challenges, such as increased rates of depression, anxiety and PTSD, often compounded by a historical mistrust of medical institutions. By addressing these aspects, the summit has the potential to make significant strides in improving the mental health outcomes for the black community, focusing on culturally sensitive, inclusive and effective solutions.

What role will mental health experts and community leaders involved in the summit play in shaping the conversations and resources provided?

The mental health experts and community leaders hold a pivotal role in shaping both the conversations and resources provided at the BMHS. Their expertise and insights are invaluable in identifying the most pressing mental health challenges and innovative solutions that can be applied at both individual and community levels. These professionals bring a wealth of knowledge from their respective fields, offering a diverse range of perspectives that can enrich discussions, ensuring that they are comprehensive and inclusive of various mental health issues. Through their guidance, the BMHS can facilitate meaningful dialogue, which will foster an environment where participants feel empowered to realize that they are not alone, and we all have some sense of shared experiences where we can learn from one another. Their involvement is crucial in ensuring that the BMHS not only raises awareness about mental health challenges but also equips individuals and communities with the resources to promote mental well-being and resilience.

If you could share ONE thing with readers to convince them that this event is where they need to be on May 17th, what is it? 

The BMHS brings together mental health professionals, community leaders, and individuals with lived experiences to share knowledge, strategies and resources. Attendees not only gain access to valuable insights and tools for managing their mental health but also contribute to a larger movement towards mental health equity and justice. Oh, and it’s also going to be a vibe!

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