We Breathe, We Live. Brothery Love Protest Stories

“We Breathe, We Live. Brotherly Love Protest Stories” is a made-for-television film presenting first person experiences of men who participated in the George Floyd protests in Philadelphia during the summer of 2020. Gabriel Bryant, Engaging Males of Color (EMOC) coordinator for the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services in Philadelphia, wrote a guest post on Generocity.org that highlighted his experience and the approach to the film. Here is an excerpt: We identified seven men of various backgrounds, ages and experiences to share their story, as we prepare for the one-year anniversary of this infamous murder and subsequent summer of protests. Where were they? How did they feel? What was it like to be on the ground in the marches? How has this trauma affected them and/or their loved ones? The director of the film, Glenn Holsten, brought a brave and innovative vision to catalyze and link the ideas presented in the film. These rich stories, plus the inclusion of spoken word poetry and conversations with our DBHIDS EMOC colleagues, give life to a moment that was a peak example of dehumanization. This film has further resonance since we find ourselves in Mental Health Awareness Month; additionally seen in the relief of millions now that Chauvin has been convicted of his charges. “We Breathe, We Live. Brotherly Love Protest [...]

2021-05-30T14:31:55-04:00May 24th, 2021|Community, Racial Equality|

Closing the treatment gap: Time to address inequality within mental health

By Sosunmolu Shoyinka, MD DBHIDS Chief Medical Officer Two months ago, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and the City of Philadelphia took the occasion of Mental Health Awareness Month to remind residents -- especially during this difficult and unprecedented time of COVID-19: “You’re not alone. Help is out there.” Much has changed in the national dialogue since early May. And now Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, recognized in July of each year, gives us the opportunity to look more closely at overall mental health awareness -- and focus on the shortcomings of mental health treatment among minority groups. Mental health issues are not limited by race, gender, sexual identity, or anything else. Sadly, data suggest that access to mental health care does have limitations. This is particularly the case for minority populations. Across the United States, minority groups are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care, according to a report from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. They are also disproportionately impacted by socioeconomic determinants such as housing, food and financial insecurity, inadequate health insurance, exposure to violence, unemployment and lower access to quality education. The disproportionate impact of the [...]

2021-01-28T23:04:59-05:00July 7th, 2020|Community, Pandemic, Racial Equality|

Ready to Help: Message from DBHIDS Commissioner David T. Jones

Philadelphians are impacted to the core of our being, like the rest of the world, by the compilation of traumatic events experienced over the past several months. From the ongoing uncertainty and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic to the justified anger over the murders of George Floyd and many others that has gripped the nation to the violent upheaval and feelings of helplessness that have overtaken many at this time. We all are experiencing some degree of trauma. Moreover, not knowing when we may become overwhelmed by the anxiety and stress that these overlapping circumstances have created—when will it end? But the City of Philadelphia stands ready to help those seeking support at this time. We at the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) understand people who experience traumatic events have an increased risk of developing a range of behavioral health challenges. DBHIDS takes an approach to trauma that builds on resiliency, expands protective factors, takes into account people’s overall wellness, uses a population health approach, and incorporates evidence-based practices to decrease the impact of trauma. We fund innovative programs to connect community members with behavioral health information and reduce stigma. Free quick and anonymous behavioral health screenings are a component of Healthy Minds Philly, a DBHIDS public health strategy to extend services while providing links to [...]

2021-01-04T21:30:05-05:00June 5th, 2020|Community, Racial Equality|
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