*Note: the date of the event has changed due to weather. The event is now Oct. 24.
NEW ORLEANS (press release) – With an increased need for access to mental health resources due to racial injustices and the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Orleans Public Library has partnered with Black Girl Health Foundation to present Minds Matter NOLA, a day-long virtual event focused on increasing awareness and addressing the stigma around mental health.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 24, the Library and Black Girl Health will broadcast a series of live, interactive workshops featuring mental and physical health experts to motivate women to take control of their health and give them the necessary resources to make informed decisions.
Minds Matter Nola will include six mental health-related workshops hosted by health professionals that include therapists, doctors, yoga instructors, and more.
The framework of Minds Matter is built upon creating healthy minds by increasing mental health literacy and education – two key values both shared by Black Girl Health Foundation and the New Orleans Public Library.
According to the National Library of Medicine, African American women have significantly increased health risks with limited options for resources. Within this same demographic, young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years old have the highest prevalence of mental illness, followed by adults between the ages of 26 and 49 years old.
In addition, data has shown poverty and discrimination impact mental health, creating a viscious cycle.
Porcha Grisby, Black Girl Heath’s executive director, said between racism, sexism, poverty, and pressure to embody the archetype of the “Strong Black Woman,” African American women endure an immense amount of mental and emotional stresses, which is why events like Minds Matter are so important.
“The citizens of New Orleans, and the Black female population in particular, need access to mental health tools, resources, and coping mechanisms,” Grigsby said. “Minds Matter NOLA” is a big step toward erasing the stigma behind mental healthcare, and empowering people of color to address their mental and emotional pain, overcome it, and achieve the internal balance they need to lead the productive lives they deserve.”
Dana Wilkosz, the Library’s health literacy educator, said she is thrilled to be partnering with Black Girl Health Foundation to present Minds Matter NOLA.
“With the Library’s focus on community engagement and education, we see the extreme value in providing New Orleanians access to resources and information on a variety of health topics, and around mental health in particular,” Wilkosz said. “Minds Matter NOLA is a wonderful way for us to address the stigma surrounding this topic and to provide our community members with the tools they need to help them take control of their mental health.”
Minds Matter NOLA will be broadcast live on both the New Orleans Public Library and Black Girl Health Foundation’s Facebook pages, starting at 10 a.m. on October 10 and following the schedule below:
- 10 a.m.: Opening remarks from Black Girl Health Foundation Executive Director Porcha Johnson.
- 10:45 a.m.: A yoga retreat focused on healing naturally through interactive exercise.
- 12 p.m.: “Moms Suffering in Silence” – A panel discussion that will educate and provide treatment-related resources for mothers. Topics of discussion will include postpartum depression, racial and cultural disparities that affect treatment/therapy for women who are postpartum, and single mother anxiety.
- 1:30 p.m.: “Healing Past Mental Abuse” – A workshop focused on mental health post-domestic abuse.
- 2:30 p.m.: “Black Lives Matter” – A panel discussion about maintaining mental health while being black in America. Topics of discussion will include injustice, racial trauma, and pandemic stress.
- 4 p.m.: “Free Your Mind and the Weight Will Follow” – This workshop outlines the psychological blocks that hinder weight loss and how to overcome them, including negative body image, stress, and depression.
- 5 p.m.: “Beating Depression Naturally” – A workshop focused on natural approaches to coping with anxiety.
Visit mindsmatter.blackgirlhealthfoundation.org for more information and to register for this event.