News & Announcements

Black Adult Alcohol Use Below National Average (posted 3/4)

Posted: March 04, 2010

A new study out of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveals that the current alcohol use rate for blacks aged 18 and older is significantly lower than the national adult average.  Based on a national survey the study also reveals that black adults have a lower rate of current binge drinking than the national adult average.  However, illicit drug use among black adults is higher than the national average.  “This study provides important insight into the differences affecting various populations across our country,” said SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “As a nation we must strive to reach out to every part of our population and provide services that are best tailored to effectively promote the benefits of prevention, treatment and good health.”  To read the study click here.

This study is part of a series of reports examining substance use patterns among different ethnic, racial and demographic groups in America. The studies are designed to provide data that will help public health experts, service providers and communities better understand and address the issues affecting various segments of the population.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10th

Posted: March 04, 2010

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is a nationwide initiative celebrated on March 10 every year to raise awareness of the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.

Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States. More and more women have become infected with HIV since it was first reported in the early 1980s. Today, about 1 in 4 Americans living with HIV are women. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has released a statement that highlights some of the alarming statistics related to the rates of HIV/AIDS in women and teenage girls: "In the United States, women and teenage girls accounted for more than a quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 2007 and more than 93,900 cumulative deaths from AIDS. Black women in this country suffer disproportionately from the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as they acquire new HIV infections at nearly 15 times the rate of white women. Worldwide, half of the estimated 33.4 million people living with HIV in 2008 were female, and HIV was the leading cause of disease and death for women of childbearing age."  To read the full statement click here.

The Office of Women's Health website offers planning resources, events by state and health resources.  To visit the site click here.

Check out this podcast from about NWGHAAD, click here.

New Documentary on Coping with Urban Trauma (posted 3/3)

Posted: March 03, 2010

Motivational Educational Entertainment (MEE) Productions Inc. has released a new documentary on mental health services in urban underserved areas plagued by poverty, violence, and broken families.  The 50-minute documentary entitled Moving Beyond Survival Mode: Promoting Mental Wellness and Resiliency as a Way to Cope with Urban Trauma, illustrates some of the emotional trauma that underserved populations experience in their daily lives, along with its impact on their mental wellness.  Additionally, the film highlights the life challenges that threaten the mental wellness and barriers that keep members of these communities from accessing existing mental health services and programs.  MEE Productions Inc. developed the documentary through community-participatory audience research in four U.S. cities: Philadelphia, Oakland, Chicago and Washington, DC.  To watch the video and view resources to help decrease barriers to access of mental health services in urban communities click here (must become a member to view all resources).

African American Mental Health Campaign Launched (posted 3/1)

Posted: March 01, 2010

On Tuesday, February 23, 2010 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Ad Council and the Stay Strong Foundation unveiled a national public service campaign designed to raise awareness of mental health problems among young adults in the African American community. This campaign is a part of a larger National Mental Health Anti-Stigma Campaign that aims to encourage friends and family members of those who are living with a mental health problem to step up to help support a loved one recover from a mental health problem. The NNED has supported the development of these campaigns and PSAs targeted to specific groups served by the NNED by putting together a Multicultural Steering Committee that provided input throughout the development of the materials, in conjuction with the Ad Council.  The African American campaign is the first of the series to be launced. The event was part of Black History Month and was held to coincide with the first annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) National Mental Health Awareness Day.

The radio, print, out-of-home and Web videos are designed to reach 18-25 year old friends and family members of a person living with a mental health problem. Culturally relevant work has been developed for the African American Community. The PSAs direct audiences to visit to learn more about mental health and what you can say or do to help.

NAMI Mental Health Toolkit Focuses on Black Congregations (posted 3/1)

Posted: March 01, 2010

In 2008 the NAMI Multicultural Action Center launched a toolkit to assist organizations in reaching out and partnering with African American congregations to provide information to help strip away stigma and facilitate important discussions about mental illness within these congregations. The toolkit, Sharing Hope: Understanding Mental Health, was developed with the understanding that African Americans tend to seek help from the clergy more frequently than from other professionals and that the faith community provides key support to many families. The toolkit includes a 60-minute interactive presentation where a team consisting of a faith leader, a family member and an individual living with mental illness provide an overview of mental illness, treatment and recovery from the perspective of people of faith who have experienced these illnesses. Fore more information on this toolkit click here.

NAMI reports that, "Evaluative data from the 2009 grant sites show that the presentation increases understanding of mental illness and encourages a greater sense empathy and desire to be supportive of individuals who live with mental illness. Audiences have sent a resounding message that one of the most effective components of the Sharing Hope presentation is the presenter team sharing personal experiences. Presenters are themselves examples that recovery is real." To read the press release click here.
Five new NAMI Affiliates and/or State Organizations will be selected this spring to expand and further evaluate Sharing Hope through 2011. These new sites will help further roll out this initiative and work with the Multicultural Action Center to provide continuing evaluative data and feedback. To download the grant informational and application packet click here.

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