On Friday, August 11, the African Advisory Committee for Mental Health hosted our second quarterly mental health forum. The African Advisory Committee for Mental Health is a collaborative of mental health professionals and local agencies and nonprofit organizations. Its mission is to increase cultural competency among mental health professionals as well as decrease the stigma of mental health in the African community.

Based on the evaluations from our last event, this forum focused entirely on substance use.  Keynote speakers comprised of community members who are under recovery, as well as professionals Dr. Walter Rutherford, Dr. Nola Butler-Byrd and Dr. Carolyn Ross.

Over eighty community members gathered in the East African Cultural and Community Center as they listened to each speaker’s story and words of encouragement. Thanks to Mid-City CAN and City Heights CDC, interpretation services were readily available for our non-English speakers.

Resource tables from organizations all over the county were also present. They included the Behavioral Health Services Division from San Diego County, SAY San Diego, Mental Health America, Family Health Centers of San Diego, UPAC, Urban Beats, Mental Health Systems, PERT, Casa Palmera, Lasting Recovery, Confidential Recovery, Center for Discovery and Aurora Behavioral Health CARE.

Overall, this event was a true success and would not have been possible without all the partners from the Committee—United Women of East Africa Support Team, Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans, Southern Sudanese Community Center, African Coalition Workforce, Southern Sudanese Community Center, Somali Bantu Community of San Diego, and the Huda Community of San Diego.

We want to give a special thank you to catering company Baraka and Bilal, and Bread & Cie for providing food for the event.

We also thank our sponsors, the Prevention Institute and the Movember Foundation.

Stay tuned for our next event!


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