Written by AAMHC Category: Recent Happenings
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Linda Hart, Co-founder and Executive Director: 
As a mother and sister with family members who have mental health disabilities, I am concerned about the kinds of issues that effect their everyday lives. We talk about living a good long life, but for them, the quality of life is critical. We assume in their disabilities, that they're just satisfied with being disabled, but they want to be successful, they want to have families, they want to have careers and their desires and wants and life shouldn't be any different than ours.

"Our coalition's goal for each individual with a mental health disability is that we help in every way that we can to be an advocate for them."

 

History

The African American Mental Health Coalition (AAMHC) is a collaborative of consumers, consumer families, community members, Faith-based Organizations, and Mental Health Professionals. We advocate providing culturally relevant services for older adults, younger adults, children, and transitional age youth. The African American Mental Health Coalition was formed in 2006 as a key advisor to the County of San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health on Mental Health disparities affecting African American populations.

The AAMHC through advocacy created a proposal to recognize the 2nd week of February “The African American Mental Health Awareness Week “Assembly Concurrent Resolution No.150” in the California State Assembly; authored by Assembly member Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto) in 2010

 

Family Resource Centers, African American Community Capacity Building Project and Community Liaison were conceived by the AAMHC and the County of San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health. Through our efforts we helped to increase the percentage of dollars awarded to community minority held nonprofits. Mental Health Services for Prevention and Early Intervention programs are now more accessible in our communities. For individuals and their families AAMHC provides Mental Health Educational Workshops, to reduce the stigma of mental health illness. We provide informative educational training ex. NAMI Family to Family, Mental Health Awareness presentations, encouraging healthy life styles changes, and advocating for quality access to Mental Health Services.

We continue to collaborate with El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center’s “Promotores de Salud” and staff. El Sol’s curriculum based program has been revised by the African American Community Advisory Committee and adopted to successfully train African American Community Mental Health Outreach Workers. So together we can “strive” to reduce the stigma of Mental Illness throughout the entire County of San Bernardino.

Our mission is to advocate for positive changes by eliminating barriers to care and promote culturally relevant activities, and research. The African American Mental Health Coalition will reduce mental health disparities through policies and community outreach to promote a comprehensive approach to prevention and early intervention. This will allow individuals and families to become Empowered.

 

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