LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Hello Family,

My name is Successful Brim, Founder and President of the Minority Psychology Network (MPN). MPN is a non-profit organization that seeks to combat the stigma surrounding mental health by providing culturally aligned education to individuals in an effort to change the context of mental health for minority communities. To that end, we have been working to reduce the stigma associated with Mental Health via education on how stigma is formed and maintained culturally and environmentally.

We have come far since our very first mental health workshop in September of 2019. What began as an event to educate and highlight the importance of mental health among those within minority communities has transformed into an ever growing organization that is making strides to become cross national organization that seeks to educate minority communities about mental health and help to expand access to minority mental health providers to minority communities across the nation. Our MPN family is continuously growing. Just recently we have gained three new members to help us achieve our goals and make our vision a reality. Please welcome to the MPN family Diamond Larry- Event Coordinator; Eka Childs – Board Member; and Brian O’Neil- Marketing Director. We are looking forward to the new year as we continue to grow and relentlessly pursue our mission to reduce the stigma around mental health within minority communities across the nation. Furthermore, we look forward to learning and growing from those we interact with. 2020 will be the year that we make our mental health a priority. Remember, OUR MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS!!!

EVENTS

We are very proud and excited to announce that on April 23, 2020. Our Sports and Mental Health Committee will be having a panel discussion at the College and Career Fair at the Mamba Sports Academy discussing the nuances between the relationship among student athletes and their mental health. Parents of student athletes will also be provided with insight as to the challenges that their child(ren) are dealing with and ways that they can help their child(ren) overcome said challenges. Furthermore, there will be MPN representatives from our Resources and Education Committees to provide more information to both students and their parents/guardians. So please mark your calendars, you do not want to miss out on such valuable information!!

Also, On May 16, 2020 MPN will be hosting a Mental Health workshop in Los Angeles with a focus on trauma, so please mark your calendars and check the MPN website for more information as May comes closer for more information. Additionally, MPN will have a Mental Health workshop in Dallas focusing on  Sports and Mental Health on July 25, 2020. Please visit our website for more information as July comes closer.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Our student of the month for the new year is Garrick Beauliere. Acknowledging that there is a lack of Black male psychologists, Garrick decided to pursue a Psychological Doctorate (Psy. D) in Clinical Psychology. He is also an extern St. Elizabeth Hospital, which is the first federally funded inpatient psychiatric hospital in the country. He provides both clinical and assessment interventions with civil and forensic inpatient psychiatric populations. Garrick is providing a service that is greatly needed in the African American community, as well as other marginalized communities: minority mental health clinicians that look like them. Garrick is the vision that MPN strives to inspire those from all minority communities to achieve. We look forward to what Garrick will achieve in the future and to highlighting more individuals from minority communities that seek to provide mental health care. Congratulations Garrick on your continued success!!​

PROFESSOR OF THE MONTH

We are pleased to announce MPN’s first Professor of the Month, Dr. Gabriel Crenshaw! Dr. Gabe is an adjunct lecturer and psychologist focused on clinical psychology and neuroscience at USC. Furthermore, Dr. Gabe is on-air television and radio personality who was touted as America’s Best Lifechanger while serving a two-year stint on the TV show “Extra.” He is the creator and host of his own digital media program, “Mental Minute w/ Dr. Gabe,” and a contributing expert on various news broadcasts. Crenshaw has appeared on “The Doctors,” CNN/HLN’s “Jane Velez Mitchell,” “The Ricki Lake Show,” Jamie Foxx’s “Foxxhole” Radio and the United Kingdom’s “Lawrence Styles Show.” He will also be a panelist at one of our Mental Health Workshops!!  Congrats Dr. Gabe!

NEWS

Last month, George Atkenson III, a running back for the Oakland Raiders, committed suicide at age 27. Unfortunately, Atkenson’s twin brother, Josh, also committed suicide this month a year earlier and two months after the passing of their mother who died of Cron’s Disease. George wrote a letter entitled “How I Turned My Losses Into Lessons” in which he details his life and what led to his brother taking his own life. In the letter he also discusses how he felt the need to bottle up his emotions and the damage that it caused him and his brother. Men, especially within the African American and Latino community, are taught, explicitly or implicitly, to not show emotions as doing so is a form of being either weak or effeminate, or both. Such a maladaptive mantra is multiplied within sports, where toughness is both an asset and a liability for student athletes. Atkenson’s letter is a message to all who have felt and are feeling the same as he did. His letter is a warning cry to those who are dealing with mental health to find the help and support that they need.If you’d like to read Atkenson’s letter, click this link https://theunsealed.com/how-i-turned-my-losses-into-lessons/. Lastly, our Sports and Mental Health Committee will be speaking out about this very issue at our event on April 23. We hope to see you there in a collaborative effort to reduce the stigma of showing emotions and the reduction of suicide among our student athletes.

ASK MPN

On January 21, 2020, and once a month thereafter, the general public will be able to ask the Board Members of MPN questions! We have been getting a lot of messages on social media asking questions regarding psychology in general and the field. We would like to give the public the opportunity to not only the opportunity to ask questions, but to also connect with the members of MPN. If you have a question that you would like to ask, please send your questions to the following email MPN@theminoritypsychologynetwork.org. We look forward to seeing and speaking with you!​

DONATIONS

In December we were able to donate a Christmas tree to a family in need. Additionally, MPN members pulled together to provide donations to the Los Angeles Mission Shelter and Riverside City Mission. We have also partnered with and provided donations to the Austin Street Center and the Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support center in Dallas. It does not just stop here, at MPN we are deeply committed to giving back to the community all year around. If you know of any organizations that need donations, or support, please feel free to contact us via email at MPN@theminoritypsychologynetwork.org, or please contact us via social media (see below).

FACTS ABOUT MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health website- https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/content.aspx?ID=9447– and based off data collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA):
1. In 2017, 41.5% of youth ages 12-17 received care for a major depressive episode, but only 35.1% of black youth and 32.7% of Hispanic youth received treatment for their condition.
2. Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic group.
3. In 2017, 13.3% of youth ages 12-17 had at least one depressive episode, but that number was higher among American Indian and Alaska Native youth at 16.3% and among Hispanic youth at 13.8%.
4. In 2017, 18.9% of adults (46.6 million people) had a mental illness. That rate was higher among people of two or more races at 28.6%, non-Hispanic whites at 20.4% and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders at 19.4%.
Such statistics speaks to the growing need for more minority mental health professionals stationed within minority communities. We understand this need and we are working daily to increase the access to minority mental health professionals to minority communities. Our biggest opponent is the stigma that surrounds mental health within minority communities and the best way to overcome such stigma is to continually talk about the importance of mental health. If you have any questions as to how to start the conversation within your family, your group of friends, or even within yourself, please contact us at MPN@theminoritypsychologynetwork.org or contact us via social media (see below).

OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE

MPN is currently working towards establishing MPN Chapters within various universities across the Nation in order to spread mental health awareness and education to the future generation in our effort to combat the stigma surrounding mental health. We are also actively seeking partnerships with other organizations so that we can collaborate in providing culturally competent mental health care to minority communities. In efforts to encourage members from minority communities to seek professional help to address their mental health needs, MPN is currently building a directory of minority mental health professionals. This is a glimpse of what MPN aims to accomplish. Please continue to support us in this journey that has just begun!

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