The free community health fair features presentations, workshops and information about resources available in the local community

Photo credit: NewsCenter Today

July is Minority Mental Health Month, and the New York chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI-NYC) is holding a free community mental health fair at the Macon Library in Bedford Stuyvesant on Saturday, July 28. 

The NAMI C.A.R.E.S. (Community Advocacy, Resources, Education, & Services) fair will focus on mental health issues that specifically face communities of color. Through storytelling, workshops and live presentations, the event aims to show that help is available and recovery for people living with mental health challenges is possible. Attendees can also learn more about resources that specialize in serving diverse populations and are available in their neighborhood. 

Despite advances in health equity, disparities in mental health care persist. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services and are less likely to use community mental health services. Poor mental health care access and quality contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including suicide.

According to data provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • Over 70 percent of Black/African American adolescents with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment for their condition;
  • almost 25 percent of adolescents with a major depressive episode in the last year were Hispanic/Latino;
  • and Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic groups.
Alicia James, president of The PAM Project. Photo credit:

The fair, which begins at 12:00pm, will present three workshops. 

The first presentation In Our Own Voice, starting at 12:30pm, will explore the stories of people living with mental illness, sharing their “dark days” to successes and dreams, and offers insight into the hope and recovery possible for people living with mental illness.

Alicia James, president of The PAM Project (Preserve A Mom), a social enterprise agency for maternal mental health, will be hosting the interactive discussion Mothers of Color and their Mental Health – Advocating for Ourselves from 1:30pm to 2:30pm.

Suicide and Emotional Pain will be at the center of the third workshop. Brett Scudder, president of Scudder Intervention Services Foundation (SISFI), will discuss how to recognize if someone is in emotional distress, even if they aren’t talking about suicide, and how to meet those suffering from emotional pain where they are without trying to fix it.

Participating organizations include the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Brooklyn Child Mobile Crisis Team, Brooklyn Community Services, Make It Happen, Rainbow Heights Club, The Family Center, All For One, Therapists for Black Girls, Youth Stand United, Thrive NYC and more.

NAMI Mental Health Fair

When: Saturday, July 28, 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Where: Macon Library, 361 Lewis Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233


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