Town Hall To Address Mental Health Stigma In African-American Community

The Department of Health and Wellness and the University of Louisville are launching a new campaign to fight the stigma of seeking treatment for mental illness.

They’ll hold a panel discussion and town hall meeting Tuesday to encourage people to seek help. Panel member Dr. Monique Upton says the meeting is aimed specifically at African-Americans.

“The African-American community traditionally has been a little bit more distrustful of the medical community as a whole partly due to the effects of segregation and discrimination and unfortunate happenings like the Tuskegee Experiment,” she says.

Upton says the stigma may also stem from a general lack of understanding about the causes and treatments of mental illness.

“Many people, they don’t realize that mental illness is actually illness and things like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia…they all have biological basis,” she says.

The meeting will be held at 6:30pm at Bates Memorial Baptist Church.