Mental Health Awareness

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® (AKA)  continues to work toward the expansion of mental health education and awareness in local communities and on college and university campuses throughout the nation. AKA has an interest in reaching African Americas, women, students and other key constituents with important messages relating to mental illness risk factors, warning signs, diagnosis, care, treatment, research, advocacy and events.

In 2016, Epsilon Omicron Omega and the Connecticut chapter of NAMI sponsored a Mental Health Forum at the Northend Senior Center in Hartford. The focus of the forum was a presentation by Gary Rhule, M.D., author of Sailing on Broken Pieces and Director-City of Hartford, Health & Human Services.  Jamaican born Dr. Rhule discussed his book from the perspective of a physician, sibling and caregiver for his brother who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Information booths with resource materials addressing community education, support groups, advocacy, networks of care and other related areas were available during the forum.  The forum was free and open to the public.

In 2017, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Epsilon Omicron Omega Chapter in association with Foundation for Educational Opportunities, Inc. and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)  Connecticut Chapter sponsored a Mental Health Forum at the Northend Senior Center in Hartford. The focus consisted of a dialogue about mental health needs within communities of color and an interactive wellness activity. The dialogue was facilitated by Dr. Ayana Jordan, M.D., PhD., Assistant Professor, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. The wellness activity was directed by Shawntell Layaw, a certified yoga teacher. There will be information booths with resource materials addressing community education, support groups, advocacy, networks of care and related topics. The forum was free and open to the public.

This year, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Epsilon Omicron Omega Chapter in association with Foundation for Educational Opportunities, Inc. and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)  Connecticut Chapter will sponsor a Mental Health Forum on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at The 224 EcoSpace located at 224 Farmington Avenue in Hartford. This year’s forum will consist of a dialogue about mental health needs within communities of color and an interactive wellness activity. The dialogue will be facilitated byPatricia Rehmer, Senior Vice President, Hartford HealthCare & President, Behavioral Health Network. The mindfulness wellness activity will be directed byDr. Jennifer Pierre, a licensed Naturopathic physician. Also, there will be information booths with resource materials addressing community education, support groups, advocacy, networks of care and related topics. The forum is free and open to the public.  RSVPs are requested by July 22, 2018.