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African-American Faith-Based Mental Health Initiative Provides Tools for Healing the Hurt In Our Communities

African-American Faith-Based Mental Health Initiative Provides Tools for Healing the Hurt In Our Communities

Peeling Back the Layers: Tools for Healing the Hurt

Houston, TX--- Many African Americans seek refuge and support from their church community to relieve mental illness and stress. The African American Faith-Based Mental Health Initiative will host a first of its kind gathering called Peeling Back the Layers: Tools for Healing the Hurt. The conference is free and set for Saturday, November 5, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Concord Church, 6808 Pastor Bailey Drive, Dallas, Texas.

The African American Faith-Based Mental Health initiative is bringing together a collaboration of area churches seeking to provide tools, knowledge and resources for the African American community,” says Vicky Coffee-Fletcher, program officer for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. Peeling Back the Layers is seeking participation and support of local ministry and community leaders, youth and the general public. 5.5 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be provided to licensed professional counselors and social workers for a $20 registration fee.

The conference will offer five tracks: Clergy, Caregiver, General, Justice and Youth. The conference will open with a panel discussion titled, African-Americans and Mental Health: Suffering in Silence. In light of recent events, there has been an increased awareness of the impact racism and discrimination has on both the physical and mental well-being of African Americans. Other conference sessions will include:

  • Depression, Anxiety, and Suicide: Trends and Challenges Facing African-Americans
  • Helping Yourself to Health: Connecting Emotional Well-Being and Physical Health
  • The Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Health from the Church

During the lunch hour, internationally renown expert, Dr. David R. Williams, Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University, will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Williams will present on the “Role of the African-American Church in Mental Health.”

To participate in the free conference, you must register at The conference is filling up fast so register today. For more information or to become an exhibitor, contact the Alliance for Greater Works at (817) 835-0271.



Founded in October 2014, the African-American Faith-Based Mental Health Education Initiative (add link to website) seeks to increase the awareness and perceptions of mental health, recovery and wellness in African American communities.

Although one in four individuals will experience a mental health condition during his or her lifetime, studies show that only half of African American adults experiencing mental health conditions seek treatment. In times of emotional distress, evidence has shown African Americans draw support from their faith, family and communities. Faith communities thus have a crucial role to play in addressing mental health recovery and wellness.

Seed funded by the Hogg Foundation, the goals of this initiative are to:

  • Build on the unique strengths of churches and other faith-based organizations in African American communities.
  • Identify and connect congregants with local behavioral resources for treatment and support.
  • Support faith leaders in addressing their own mental wellness.

For more information: contact Sherrye Willis (817) 835.0271.

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