NORFOLK, Va. - As the mental health industry sees a dramatic upswing in new clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, one group of Americans is not receiving care at the same rate as the general population. According to The Urban League of Hampton Roads, members of the Black community are among those least likely to access healthcare to seek out mainstream mental health resources due to cultural stigma and citing a distrust in the healthcare system.
On Monday, February 22, the Urban League will partner with Black BRAND, Hampton Roads’ Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, for an online event. "A Community Conversation on Mental Health" promises to feature panelists discussing the cultural stigma and disparaging data behind mental health wellness in minority communities, and raise awareness about organizations that provide services and resources.
Blair Durham, President of Black BRAND, tells News 3, "You see memes about if you haven't started a business, written a book, gotten on TikTok, you've missed the boat."
"It's a lot," Durham added, "I hope that our business community, the community at large walks away recognizing that it's okay to take time for yourself."
Latisha James of The Urban League of Hampton Roads agrees.
"Taking care of your yourself is most important," she stressed. "If your mind isn't well, nothing else will be well."
Monday's free event will be streamed live on the Urban League of Hampton Roads website.