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10/25 Community Conversation Summary

Friday, November 3, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ashley Driste
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In partnership, MACMHP, Southside Community Health Services, and Hue-MAN hosted the event: "Community Conversation & Healing: Let's Talk About Mental Health" on October 25, 2017. The event, held at LSS Center for Changing Lives, was a dynamic conversation between community members and community mental health providers on how to offer better serve our diverse communities.
Moderator Gary Norman (MACMHP President Elect and First Street Center Director) kicked off with a panel discussion with Sam Simmons (Simmons Consulting), Pahoua Yang (Amherst H. Wilder Foundation), and Clarence Jones (Southside Community Health Services). Panelists shared thought-provoking remarks about the importance of focusing on shared trauma with patients and being able to balance our professionalism with our personal history. The panel encouraged attendees, and us, to think about how mental health providers and systems need to “flex” rather than asking the communities to when it comes to providing clients' most appropriate mental health care. Self-examination and understanding how providers can be present for patients and clients were main foci.
In later breakout discussions, attendees talked about their experiences and thoughts about how mental health care is provided. The dynamic conversation brought forth several wonderful considerations, and underscored the importance of four themes:

  • Historical Trauma: define, indicate how it impacts communities, and how historical trauma should be considered when providing care
  • Listen: listen to the patient, ask them to define mental health
  • Educate: educate the community on mental health, but in a culturally responsive manner 
  • Culture: individual’s culture defines them, community needs to be created, we (mental health professionals) must change to meet others’ (culturally diverse patients) needs

The community conversation brought to light areas of much needed change and key opportunities for mental health professionals to focus on when serving our diverse communities. We want to thank our panelists, moderator, and most importantly, those that attended. We would not have been able to have this profound experience if it was not for everyone’s participation.
The key themes of the community conversation will be the focus of our webinar training, on November 8, 2017. Our presenter will share their knowledge, expertise, and experience as a professional, offering information on how to be culturally aware in your mental health work. Find more information and register today!

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