The Crusader Newspaper Group

Black Women & Youth Mental Wellness Expo

The Black Women & Youth Mental Wellness Expo (BMWE) is a community event that will be the first of its kind in Chicago on   Saturday July 8 at 1:30 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. The Expo will be at AKArama Community Service Center, 6220 South Ingleside Avenue in Chicago.

The BMWE seeks to fill the access and resource gap for Black Chicagoans seeking quality mental health and wellness services. Event co-hosts, Kenya Atwater, Chanell Hill, and Camesha Jones all struggle with mental health and were able to become mentally well because of access to quality services. Atwater, Hill, and Jones have partnered together to create the BMWE to support other Black Chicagoans with getting connected to quality providers and feeling empowered to take charge of their mental health.

The Black Women & Youth Mental Wellness Expo is desperately needed because:

  • Six mental health clinics in predominantly Black communities on Chicago’s south side have closed since 2009.
  • Between 2009-2012 $113.7 million dollars were cut from mental health services by the State of Illinois.
  • Black people are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than non-Hispanic whites, according to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.
  •  A Princeton University study found that therapists discriminate against prospective patients who are Black or working-class, regardless of insurance standing.

Event Sponsors, Contributors and Vendors Include: Illinicare Health, Family First: Domestic & Family Counseling Clinic, Emages Inc., NextLevel Health, Touch of Wholeness Psychological Services, Chicago Women’s AIDS Project, Haji Healing Salon, Empowering Wellness 360, Chicago Association of Black Social Workers, DJ Skoli, Brittney Carter Music and Chipotle Mexican Grill-Englewood.

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