This Saturday, New Community Bible Fellowship (NCBF) is bridging the gap between people of color and mental health. In the attempt to normalize conversations around mental and emotional wellness, the local church is hosting Thrive: Learning to Mind Your Mental Health. The in-person and virtual event will consist of ministers, licensed therapists, and clinicians that are determined to empower and educate attendees during today’s troubled times and beyond.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Cleveland (NAMI), 1 in 4 American adults, experiences an episode of mental illness per year. Tanya James, the Women’s Ministry Director, is the driving force behind New Community’s commitment to discuss mental health within the church.
“Over 20% of young adults suffer from anxiety and depression. Suicide continues to be the leading cause of death for those 15-24 years old. COVID-19 not only impacted our community’s economy, but the mental health of our community was also negatively impacted,” Tanya explained.
NAMI, the resource partner for the event, described how the terminology and understanding of mental health can ethnically vary. Marginalized civilians are most likely to report psychological distress but are least likely to receive treatment. Mental health remains taboo for most people in the Black community – especially within predominately Black churches. People of color traditionally connect mental illness with spirituality and moral explanations versus biomedical perspectives.
“For many in the Black community, it can be incredibly challenging to discuss the topic of mental health due to this concern about how they may be perceived by others. This fear could prevent people from seeking mental health care when they really need it,” says Nicole Hargrove, Director of Communications and Events.
Education and access to quality care can also serve as limitations, in which New Community hopes to provide the resources needed to overcome such obstacles. No matter the reasoning, New Community Bible Fellowship is determined to lift the burden of shame and normalize intentional pursuits in achieving emotional wellness.
In-person seating is limited, and attendees must register online. A live stream option is also available via New Community’s YouTube page.