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Weekly Mental Health Check-In

Weekly Mental Health Check-In : Understanding racial differences in depression.

Listen in to this weeks Mental Health Check-in with Marisa Giarnella-Porco of the Jordan Porco Foundation for suicide prevention, Sgt Christine Jeltema of the Connecticut State Police,and Renee DiNino from iHeartMedia.

Our special guest this week is Dr Carlita Cotton: "Committed and I ain't tired yet." Born in segregated Alabama, Dr Cotton has turned her life's experiences into a tool to teach and unite all. –

Professor of psychology, researcher, multicultural counseling, diversity equity and inclusion specialist, US Airforce Veteran – you can find her teaching at Charter Oak State College and Post University

Remember there is ALWAYS HELP! You are not alone!

Call 2-1-1 Statewide for emergency services

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

Text: HOME to 741741

How to Seek Culturally Competent Care

When a person is experiencing challenges with their mental health, it is essential for them to receive quality care as soon as the symptoms are recognized. It is equally important that the care they receive is provided by culturally competent health care professionals.

While we recommend seeking help from amental health professional,a primary care professional is also a great place to start. A primary care professional might be able to provide an initial mental health assessment and referral to a mental health professional if needed. Community and faith organizations may also have a list of available mental health providers in your area.

When meeting with a provider, it can be helpful to ask questions to get a sense of their level of cultural awareness. Providers expect and welcome questions from their patients or clients, since this helps them better understand what is important in their treatment. Here are some sample questions:

Have you treated other Black people or received training in cultural competence for Black mental health? If not, how do you plan to provide me with culturally sensitive, patient-centered care?

How do you see our cultural backgrounds influencing our communication and my treatment?

Do you use a different approach in your treatment when working with patients from different cultural backgrounds?

What is your current understanding of differences in health outcomes for Black patients?

Whether you seek help from a primary care professional or a mental health professional, you should finish your sessions with the health care professional feeling heard and respected. You may want to ask yourself:

Did my provider communicate effectively with me?

Is my provider willing to integrate my beliefs, practices, identity and cultural background into my treatment plan?

Did I feel like I was treated with respect and dignity?

Do I feel like my provider understands and relates well with me?

The relationship and communication between a person and their mental health provider is a key aspect of treatment. It’s very important for a person to feel that their identity is understood by their provider in order to receive the best possible support and care.

More Information

If finances are preventing you from finding help, contact a local health or mental health clinic or your local government to see what services you qualify for. You can find contact information online atfindtreatment.samhsa.govor by calling the National Treatment Referral Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).

NAMI’s Sharing Hope Program

Sharing Hopeis a one-hour program to increase mental health awareness in Black communities by sharing the presenters’ journeys to recovery and exploring signs and symptoms of mental health conditions. The program also highlights to navigate the mental health system.

"Sharing Hope: An African American Guide to Mental Health" provides mental health information in a sensitive manner through personal stories. Recovery is possible, and this booklet tells you where to find more information, seek help and be supportive. You can buy hard copies through theNAMI Bookstore.

NAMI -- Black Mental Health Resources

Please note: The resources included here are not endorsed by NAMI, and NAMI is not responsible for the content of or service provided by any of these resources.

Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM)

Group aimed at removing the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing. They do this through education, training, advocacy and the creative arts.

Black Men Heal

Limited and selective free mental health service opportunities for Black men.

Black Mental Health Alliance

Provides information and resources and a “Find a Therapist” locator to connect with a culturally competent mental health professional.


Provides access to evidence-based information and resources about mental health and behavioral health topics from a Black perspective, as well as training opportunities for students and professionals.

Black Women’s Health Imperative

Organization advancing health equity and social justice for Black women through policy, advocacy, education, research and leadership development.

Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation

BLHF has launched the COVID-19 Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign to raise money for mental health services provided by licensed clinicians in our network. Individuals with life-changing stressors and anxiety related to the coronavirus will have the cost for up to five (5) individual sessions defrayed on a first come, first serve basis until all funds are committed or exhausted.

Brother You’re on My Mind

An initiative launched by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and NIMHD to raise awareness of the mental health challenges associated with depression and stress that affect Black men and families. Website offers anonline toolkitthat provides Omega Psi Phi Fraternity chapters with the materials needed to educate fellow fraternity brothers and community members on depression and stress in Black men.

Ebony's Mental Health Resources by State

List of Black-owned and focused mental health resources by state as compiled by Ebony magazine.


Provides culturally sensitive self-care support and teletherapy for Black men and their families. Currently in pilot program available only to residents of MD, VA and DC. Residents of other states can join their waiting list and will be notified when Hurdle is available in their state.

Melanin and Mental Health

Connects individuals with culturally competent clinicians committed to serving the mental health needs of Black & Latinx/Hispanic communities. Promotes the growth and healing of diverse communities through its website, online directory and events.

Ourselves Black

Provides information on promoting mental health and developing positive coping mechanisms through a podcast, online magazine and online discussion groups.

POC Online Classroom

Contains readings on the importance of self care, mental health care, and healing for people of color and within activist movements.

Sista Afya

Organization that provides mental wellness education, resource connection and community support for Black women.

Therapy for Black Girls

Online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. Offers listing of mental health professionals across the country who provide high quality, culturally competent services to Black women and girls, an informational podcast and an online support community.

The SIWE Project

Non-profit dedicated to promoting mental health awareness throughout the global Black community.

The Steve Fund

Organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.

Unapologetically Us

Online community for Black women to seek support.

Articleon Racial Battle Fatigue

Association of Black Psychologists Directory

Inclusive Therapists


LGBTQ Psychotherapists of Color Directory

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network

Psychology Today Directory of African American Therapists

Therapy for Black Men

Educational Resources on Racism And Inequality

Understanding the context of racism and recent events

Videoon understanding racism and the reactions to the death of George Floyd and many others

Videoon understanding the perspectives of your colleagues of color

Articleon “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”

Listof Anti-Racism resources

Understanding the context of racial inequality that impacts mental health

APA Best Practiceson working with Black patients

APA Mental Health Factsfor Black Americans (2017)

Understanding and addressing the social determinants of health that impact mental health

Articleon improving the health of Black Americans and the overdue opportunity for social justice

Videoon understanding the social determinants of health and toxic stress

Videoon the social determinants of toxic stress, specifically race and ethnic toxic stress

APA Stress & Trauma Toolkitfor treating Black Americans in a changing political and social environment

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Page on Achieving Health Equity— Information about why health equity matters and what you can do to help give everyone a fair shot at being as healthy as they can be.

Ways to Take Action as An Ally or Champion for People of Color

Articleon being a white ally through word, actions and power

Articleon being a white ally for racial justice

Community based organizations to partner with:Color of Change,Black Lives Matter,Campaign Zero,Innocence Project

Books to Read

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racismby Robin DiAngelo, PhD

How To Be An Antiracistby Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpowerby Dr. Brittney Cooper

Me and White Supremacyby Layla F. Saad

So You Want to Talk About Raceby Ijeoma Oluo

The Fire Next Timeby James Baldwin

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindnessby Michelle Alexander

The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Centuryby Grace Lee Boggs

The Warmth of Other Sunsby Isabel Wilkerson

When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century Americaby Ira Katznelson

Carlita RB Cotton, Ph.D.

Mobile Line ~ (860) 377-4854

Business Line ~ (860) 374-8518


Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

“What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters." ~ VP-elect Kamala Devi Harris

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