The George Floyd Memorial Foundation is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with a new mental health program for Black men and women.
CBS 17 reports the foundation’s program will improve resources and mental health outcomes for Black Americans. Two key factors in the new initiative are removing the stigma associated with treatment and making sure interventions can be delivered in a culturally responsible way.
The program will also decrease barriers to seeking treatment, increase mental and emotional well-being through connection and community, and implement healing justice workshops, webinars, and conversations.
Jacari Harris, the executive director of the foundation, believes Black men and women need to focus on their mental health due to the physical and emotional trauma they face as a result of police shootings and violence directed toward Black people and groups.
One of the leading figures in the foundation’s program is Dr. Calisha Brooks, a psychologist who is known for her groundbreaking work at Vanderbilt University. Harris said in a release that Black health in all forms is underappreciated and statistics show not dealing with these issues can have dire consequences.
“According to research, trauma associated with police killings of Black people causes nearly 50 million days of poor mental health, which results in a host of other problems,” Harris said. “Our hope is that our mental health program will shine a light on the need for mental health treatment among Black people in the U.S.”
Brooks will also be tasked with directing micro-grants to Black men and women seeking therapy. The foundation’s programming will also offer training to health providers so they can better understand the issues that people of color face.
She added that the death of George Floyd by police in 2020 resonated with millions of Black men and women who have been victims of police brutality or know a victim.