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Black Men’s Wellness Town Hall to focus on mental health

Event set for Oct. 19 in downtown Phoenix


Portrait of Olga Idriss Davis, associate dean of Barrett Honors College at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus and professor and associate dean in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication.

Olga Idriss Davis, associate dean of Barrett Honors College at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus and professor and associate dean in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication.

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October 16, 2023

Mental health and wellness among Black men will be the focus of the second annual Black Men’s Wellness Town Hall, set to take place from 6–9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, in the First Amendment Forum at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus.

"The aim is for those who attend to develop a greater understanding of the health care disparities among Black men, connect with those on the front lines working to close the gaps, and hear from a community of scholars and activists committed to equitable health care literacy and access," said Olga Idriss Davis, associate dean of Barrett Honors College at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus and professor and associate dean in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication.

The event is presented by Barrett, The Honors College at ASU and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with support from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, College of Health Solutions, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Global Center for Applied Health Research, Dean of Students Office and Multicultural Communities of Excellence.

The event will feature a keynote by Jon McCaine, program supervisor of Bayless Integrated Healthcare’s Lighthouse High Risk Youth Intensive Outpatient Program, whose expertise is in emotional and behavioral health, counseling and addiction treatments

Breakout sessions and panel discussions with community members and leaders involved in mental health, education and health equity will offer the chance to engage with topics relating to the health and wellness of Black male communities. Community and health care organizations will have information tables at the event, which is free and open to the public. Register to attend here. Free parking will be available in the lot north of the Cronkite School for the first 45 people who register. Information about other parking options is here.

Facts about Black men’s mental health:

  • According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, Black adults living below the poverty line are more than twice as likely to report serious psychological distress as U.S. adults with greater financial security.
  • Only 26.4% of Black and Hispanic men ages 18 to 44 who experienced daily feelings of anxiety or depression were likely to have used mental health services, compared with 45.4% of non-Hispanic white men with the same feelings, according to a 2015 report from the National Center for Health Statistics.
  • Black men who seek help may have difficulty finding a same-race provider since Black psychologists make up only about 4% of the doctoral-level psychology workforce, according to 2018 APA Center for Workforce Studies data.

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