In November of 2015, a roundtable discussion on mental health needs in the community was organized by CCN at the Chicago Theological Seminary, and presided over by Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Over 30 faith and community leaders discussed issues of mental health access, resources and education. It was evident that we need to work together to connect mental health organizations with community and faith leaders to form a stronger network of support for those at risk.
Our intention is to follow through with this initial needs assessment with further community engagements. A panel discussion connecting the community with psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, legal aid and faith leaders is one such endeavor we plan for the coming year. We also intend to further understand the barriers to accessing mental health care through a needs-assessment survey of factors involved, including stigma, financial burden and lack of awareness of resources available. If you are interested in collaborating on mental health advocacy, please contact us.