In this blog, I engage mental health experts for principle no. 9 (of 10): Apply Comprehensive Solutions to Problem-solving for advancing black feminism in public health.
Comprehensive solutions to public health threats are more effectively addressed when mental health is considered as the ultimate protective factor. This requires transformative thinking in the way we center mental wellness in public health interventions.
I have invited three (3) mental health experts with public health experience to provide insights on points of integration and synergy between our mental health and public health systems.
Listen in as Reinette gives evidence-informed, theoretical frameworks for making mental health central to public health. Then we have a very personal and vulnerable discussion about black women and girls’ unmet mental wellness needs and how we must support each other even when that support is initially rejected.
Listen in as Cheron discusses the essence of mental health counseling, and the difference between life coaching and mental health therapy. We also engage in discussion about how mental health experts can round out their professional skill by building organizational leadership and program administrative capacity.
Listen in as Dr. Bass discusses mental health and the pandemic within the context of upticks in substance use as a coping mechanism; and how to address public health issues through a lens of mental wellness. As I trust Dr. Bass as a therapist, I was very candid in sharing my own unhealthy coping strategies during the pandemic, as he shed some light on why many of us chose sugars and carbs to bring us comfort during COVID-19.
The collective call to action, as summarized in my interviews with mental health specialists, can be codified using an acronym of action verbs for what “matters” most in moving mental health from the margins to the center of public health: