Health Equity: A Visit To The SAMSHA Minority Fellowship

Black Scholars Are Leading The Way In Mental Health


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) is our nations leading agency that collects data on behavioral health. One of its primary surveys is the National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS); a survey that collects national and state level data on mental health delivery systems. I was fortunate this past weekend to be a guest presenter at their minority fellowship, held in Washington, D.C.

The fellowship consisted of a diverse group of master and doctorally prepared scholars who were passionate about the state of mental health in America and across the globe.


After doing some research on the program, I wanted to be deliberate about having direct conversations with those in attendance. Upon my arrival, I was pristinely indoctrinated to their inclusive environment, as the lead program director made it very clear that I was to sit at the table with the fellows. I was impressed. I met my goal.

After presenting our documentary, The Dixie 3: A Story On Civil Rights in Nursing, the fellows were eager to share their thoughts and discourse about the intersection of mental health and the history of our stories. Furthermore, narrowing gaps in inequities.


The story of the Dixie 3 brings to light the plight of three nurses, Mildred Smith, Agnes Stokes Chisman and Patricia Taylor Mckenzie and their fight for justice within nursing education. We all agreed

that it was impossible to imagine the mental health toll this act of courage of doing a sit in at a time of segregation, had taken on these nurses. I am grateful to have been able to offer up this type of cinematic engagement. We discussed candidly how important it is to bring the root of the problem forward in order to create authentic solutions.


Mental health is one of the most pressing issues facing our society today and it was a delight to see emerging scholars so passionate about the effects on minority communities. Onward and upward.



 

"Health equity is a multicultural, multidiscipline connection. The magic at the minority fellowship was palpable and energizing. It was a pleasure to be a part of the solution. "

Denetra Hampton

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