The Post Foundation hosts a forum on mental health in the black community

The Charlotte Post Foundation will host a online seminar May 25 on Mental Health in the Black Community.

The forum, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will include Atrium Health outpatient psychotherapist Russell Hancock, psychologist Andrea Cochran and mental health advocate Fonda Bryant, a suicide survivor, on the panel.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, mental illness is defined as a health condition that causes a change in emotion, thought, behavior, or a combination of the three. These illnesses may be associated with distress or difficulty functioning with social, household, or work activities.

A study showed that 63% of black people view a mental health issue as a personal weakness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

During the global coronavirus pandemic, African Americans have had to witness many social injustices while struggling to maintain their physical and mental health.

In 2020, approximately 21% of adults had a mental illness and 46% of adults in the United States with mental illness were receiving treatment according to National Alliance on Mental Illness. Surprisingly, black boys between the ages of 5 and 12 are more likely to die by suicide than any other age group.

Bryant, founder of nonprofit Wellness Action Recovery, will share her personal experience of suicide 27 years ago and how she spreads the message that “mental health is everyone’s business.” Bryant wrote and established the first mental health proclamation for the city of Charlotte which was read at a city council meeting earlier this month.

At the end of the webinar, there will be a Q&A session followed by a call to action to address the crisis.

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