The way language is used to conceptualize mental illness is essential to its understanding and treatment. This workshop aims to bring to the surface issues of mental health in the African community by incorporating concepts of mental health that can help the community translate Western concepts of mental health to African concepts and vice versa in a culturally relevant frame showing that although the terms and treatments may be different the aspects of illness are the same. Led by professionals and practitioners in the field, this interactive workshop will accomplish this by:
- Sharing/collecting stories and testimonies on perceptions of and experiences with mental health
- Educating through relatable examples on the illness, symptoms & treatment options to dispel myths and stereotypes
- Providing resources where participants can get further information and ongoing culturally competent support
Participants will leave this session with greater comfort and tools for discussing mental health in their individual, family and communal lives. They will also walk away with a resource map for how to access services and complement treatment with culture and tradition-based support networks in their community.
This workshop is a component of TEAM Africa, a culturally targeted health engagement and education campaign designed to promote wellness, and connect the District’s ethnically diverse African communities to vital health services. Since its successful launch in February, TEAM Africa has been promoting wellness and health resources to District residents through a social media campaign, and roving workshops on health literacy, mental health and nutrition delivered in multiple languages within diverse community-based, faith-based and home association contexts throughout the city. The TEAM Africa health education campaign is part of the DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs’ Outreach and Education Program initiated in partnership with a 13-member TEAM Africa Coordinating Committee made up of DC government representatives, health professionals, community-based organizations and health advocates.