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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.

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Local News

Health Department To Help Add Calorie Counts To Menus

Louisville Metro Government is putting together a program to add calorie counts to restaurant menus.

The Department of Health and Wellness is using about 500 thousand dollars of a nearly 8 million dollar federal grant to hire at least four dieticians and chefs. The new staff will work with restaurants to figure out how many calories are in certain items. The program is voluntary, and coordinator Marigny Bostock says the grant will pay for restaurants to update their menus.

“It could be, on average, about $1,500 per restaurant,” she says. “It just depends on if we need to get a whole new menu board or if it’s just reprinting paper menus or just simply adding a magnet with a calorie count if they have a magnetic board.”

Bostock expects the first updated menus to appear in the spring. The national health care overhaul requires restaurant chains with more than 20 locations to post calorie information. The local program targets smaller chains and individual restaurants. It’s among several anti-obesity programs that will be funded with the federal grant.