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The Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health
The APA Foundation is proud to announce the winners of the Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health. The Awards were presented during the APA Foundation 2018 Annual Benefit in Times Square on May 5th, 2018.
Ms. Amittia Parker is a licensed MSW and a doctoral student in the Department of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas. She has spent over a decade helping culturally and language-diverse children and families struggling with poverty, depression, domestic violence, anxiety, grief, loss, addiction and trauma, through her work in predominantly African American and Latino communities. She has developed and implemented a head start pilot project serving pregnant women in a community prenatal clinic, as well as a behavioral health position in a children’s safety net health clinic in Kansas City.
Looking to the future, one of the things Ms. Parker is focused on is teaching and mentoring other social workers, as well as recruiting and retaining minority social work students through the development of a leadership program at her university.
Dr. Albert Yeung works at the Massachusetts General Hospital depression clinical and research program – where he is the director of primary care research - and the South Cove Community Health Center – where he is the Co-Medical Director and Director of the Behavioral Health Department. During his career, he has worked to address key language and cultural barriers for Asian Americans, including the strong stigma against mental illnesses.
In 2016, he was appointed by the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital to be the Course Director for disseminating stress management and resiliency training to Chinese speaking populations. He also addresses the mental health services needs of the increasing number of overseas Asian students living in the United States. He provides mentoring to other doctors who are interested in contributing to minority mental health and has spoken around the world at several universities and to the community.
Located in El Paso, Texas, and with more than 60 years of service, The El Paso Child Guidance Center is located in the heart of a binational, bicultural, bilingual, and profoundly underserved metropolitan area. It is the only nationally accredited mental health outpatient clinic in El Paso and the only nonprofit organization in El Paso providing therapy and psychiatric services specifically for children and their families.
Over 80% of El Paso’s residents are Hispanic and face tremendous health disparities. The El Paso Child Guidance Center is committed to increasing access to quality mental health services for underserved Hispanic children and youth. No client is ever turned away from services due to an inability to pay. This year, they aim to expand their work by assessing, training, and evaluating child-serving professionals and teachers in the elementary and foster care settings.
Mr. Rwenshaun Miller holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and is a licensed professional counselor. Mr. Miller is also the Founder and Executive Director of Eustress, INC., a nonprofit built on the principles of brining mental health awareness through conversation and activities to break the stigma associated with mental illness in black and brown communities. Since 2013, he has engaged in community and online events with his campaign called ‘Let’s Talk About It’, which creates safe spaces for open and honest dialogue about mental illness.
In 2015, he organized the first annual ‘Let’s Talk About It’ Mental Health Awareness Walk, giving both undergraduate students and alumni the opportunity to engage in service while simultaneously creating dialogue and awareness on the topic of college mental health. The incredible success of this walk has led to several others.
The Ecumenical Center has a 50-year history of providing counseling to minorities with 18 satellite locations in San Antonio and the surrounding counties. Last year, they reached a total of 24,000 individuals through their work, including 12,000 children. Over half of the people served were Hispanic and African American minorities.
The Ecumenical Center has been successful at advancing minority mental health by removing transportation barriers, battling stigma, eliminating financial barriers, and by providing a wide range of evidence-based counseling services.
Threshold Clubhouse is an organization from Chapel Hill, North Carolina that has been serving individuals since 1985. It is the oldest, longest-running mental health organization serving the Durham community and the only one of its kind.
At Threshold, members work together to operate a “clubhouse,” where they experience meaningful and critical supports to remain in recovery and avoid re-hospitalization. Open seven days a week, Threshold serves more than 43 men and women each day and approximately 110 members on an annual basis. 90% of Threshold members are low income with chronic health conditions. Threshold Clubhouse is located in the predominantly African American neighborhood of east Durham and is proud to serve this community. 60% of Threshold members are African American and several of the members are veterans.