TX State Representative Jarvis Johnson candidly speaks saying, “Mental and emotional wellbeing is an important aspect of everyday living. We need to remove the stigma associated with mental health so intervention can occur at the onset.” The fast and frantic pace of society, sickness, death, unemployment, disability, divorce, breakups, all has an impact on mental health. Yet, many African Americans find that mental health and mental illness are tough topics to discuss.
The Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference will get the conversation started with the theme “Unveiling Masks: Real Conversations to Shatter Stigma, and Myths” on Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm at the United Way of Greater of Houston, 50 Waugh Drive Houston, Texas 77007.
The conference is coordinated by dedicated community stakeholders, one community leader stated, “Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common and treatable as well as recovery is possible. Another community leader, shared, Good mental health strengthens your ability to cope with everyday hassles and more serious crises and challenges.” Shalone Turner, 2015 conference attendee stated, “If it could be okay in society to talk about mental health, things could be different…” Shalone Turner The mission of GCTAAFSC is to strengthen the knowledge and skills of individuals with mental health, developmental disabilities, families, community members and professionals about available health care services by using culturally sensitive education supports and partnerships.
The conference day will commence with an open plenary address by Dr. Shirley Price, followed by breakout sessions and will culminate at an Award’s Luncheon with Zina Garrison, former World Tennis, and Olympic Gold Medalist keynote address. Rep. Johnson will confer and extend the Flame of Inspiration Award to Destiny Richardson and Jerome Green. The conference will offer an informative exhibition area, free flu shot clinic sponsored by Walgreens Pharmacy, 12 workshop sessions on mental health, disability awareness and the conference will focus on individuals, families and the community with an emphasis on youth only sessions for ages 15-24.