Celebrating Black History Month at CMHA
Did you know that every year a new theme is designated for Black History Month? This year's theme: Black Health and Wellness. This acknowledges not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also Afro Latinos and other disciplines that exist throughout the African Diaspora, including birth workers, naturopaths, herbalists, and doulas.
To recognize and celebrate Black History, as well as the history being made still today, CMHA held a series of events and forums for staff, clients, and community members. The Behavioral Health Home (BHH) Team led two events, including a Black History Month Celebration & Open Discussion as well as an educational forum on Integrated Health Care Practices in Black Communities.
A number of staff came together for the Open Discussion, participating in honest, and at times, difficult conversations around diversity, inclusion, and the challenges of addressing institutionalized racism in the intersecting fields of behavioral health, addiction services, and criminal justice.
Lymicha Wrice, BHH Nurse and Catherine Youngstrom, a PCP Consultant for BHH, facilitated the open-to-the-public forum on Integrated Health Care Practices, with BHH Program Coordinator Ed Ford moderating.
Commenting on the public forum's primary health topics, Wrice remarked, "I enjoyed discussing the cluster of conditions which make up metabolic syndrome and the risk factors which increase the chances of having it." Wrice then recommended "attending your preventative care visits and getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days; [that] may help with preventing the conditions which cause metabolic syndrome."
"I was so glad to be invited to participate in this event," said Youngstrom, "The information we shared about health disparities really just scratches the surface of this important topic."
Not to be outdone, CMHA's Team Time Social Club celebrated Black History Month in a big way. Members and staff from across the agency came together to enjoy music, food, poetry, and dance as they learned about important Civil Rights as well as present-day leaders in the fight for equality.
Assistant Program Coordinator Linda McGruder said, "One of the event's guest speakers told me, as soon as they walked in, that they could feel the 'love and kindness' in this space. It brought tears to my eyes. The clients feel the love, the hard work of the staff, in all we do, so that just - I don't have the words."
When you're here at the Team Time Social Club, you're never alone - and you feel the love and kindness. On behalf of all CMHA clients and staff, Thank You to everyone who helped make this event so welcoming, fun, and special for our members!